Please enjoy the following article from the Journal of Urban Affairs, available online.
Google Fiber Community Connections: Promises, pitfalls, and outcomes in Austin, Texas; by Caroline Stratton, Tony H. Grubesic, & Edward Helderop
Community Connections is a program tied to Google Fiber that provides free gigabit fiber connections to public or nonprofit facilities such as schools, libraries, community centers, and municipal buildings, thereby presenting substantial opportunity to improve digital equity. In the case of Austin, Texas, applications for Community Connections were received and evaluated, and the winners forwarded to Google Fiber, where final decisions were made regarding the provision of physical fiber connections. The purpose of this paper is to explore the intricacies of the Fiber provision process and its implications for digital equity, including the nature of the organizations interested in Community Connections and associated programmatic outcomes in Austin, Texas. The results suggest that while 100 facilities were forwarded to Google Fiber for consideration in early 2014, only 28 are connected as of 2019. The policy implications of complex public/private broadband infrastructure projects are discussed and recommendations of how to improve strategies for the provision of infrastructure as public goods are detailed.