LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – As Google Fiber prepares to pull the plug on Louisville customers tonight, the tech company has agreed to pay Metro government $3.84 million to fix damage to city streets, Mayor Greg Fischer’s said Monday.
The payments, to be made over 20 months, will cover removing fiber cables and sealant from roads, milling and paving streets “where needed” and removing Google’s above-ground infrastructure, according to a news release from Fischer's office.
Google Fiber also agreed to donate $150,000 to the Community Foundation of Louisville to support Metro’s “digital inclusion” efforts, which include “refurbishing used computers for low-income individuals and the enrollment of public housing residents in low-cost internet access through other companies providing service in Louisville,” according to the mayor’s office.
Google Fiber, a unit of the Silicon Valley tech giant, said Feb. 7 that it would abandon the Louisville market after running into too many problems with the micro-trenching technique it used to install its fiber-optic cables as shallow as two inches below the pavement surface of city streets.
Louisville, which lobbied for years to get Google Fiber, has the distinction of being the first city to lose the super-fast internet service.
Fischer’s office has previously said Google’s franchise agreement requires the company to leave the streets in the same condition, or better, as before the company started digging the trenches in 2017.
Google Fiber only reached a small slice of the city.
While the company would never share location information, WDRB used right-of-way permits in 2018 to estimate that the service was available to, at most, about 11,000 households.
Google Fiber covered a significant portion of Louisville's Portland neighborhood and of the Highlands-area neighborhoods of Belknap, Strathmoor and Deer Park.
While the company pulled permits to install in Newburg, the extent of its presence there was unclear.