Google Fiber releases impact report; Utah ranks No. 8 on innovation study

March 27th, 2017

Google Fiber releases report detailing community impact

Google Fiber shared Thursday a first look at some of the findings from its Community Impact Report. This report looks at how cities in America and Google Fiber collaborates with local partners and nonprofits to ensure that more people — especially the most digitally divided — have access to the Internet and opportunities to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

According to a Google Fiber press release, through a variety of efforts, including community programs focused on science, math, engineering and digital literacy, Google Fiber has seen positive results. This year, together with its community partners, Google Fiber in Salt Lake City and Provo achieved the following:

8,000 hours of digital literacy training.

20,436 children and families served by programs focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics supported by Google Fiber.

1,005,019 people reached through the work of Digital Inclusion Fellows.

147 families living in public housing with access to no-cost gigabit Internet.

25 nonprofit partners and community organizations provided with free gigabit Internet through Community Connections program.

363 youth participants in Create Your World + Made With Code Programming.

According to an American Community Survey, since 2015, the digital divide in Provo has been reduced by nearly 50 percent. With more than 90 percent of Provo households connected to the Internet, the city is now one of the most connected in the country, according to the Google Fiber press release.

Utah measures 8th in national innovation study

Utah came in eighth in a recent WalletHub study, “2017’s Most and Least Innovative States.” Utah sits behind Washington, D.C., which ranked first, Maryland, Massachusetts, California, Colorado, Washington and Virginia.

“According to the results of the ranking, knowledge and technology outputs are America’s particular strengths,” said Richie Bernardo, senior writer, in the report.

According to the study, the states that rank well continue to foster innovation through investments in education, research and business creation, especially in highly specialized industries. WalletHub’s analysts used 18 metrics to compare the 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key dimensions, namely “Human Capital” and “Innovation Environment.”

The Human Capital metric studied various indicators, including the state’s share of science, technology, engineering and mathematics professionals and recent graduates, and projected job demand by 2020 for those in these fields. The Innovation Environment metric studied a state’s share of technology companies, entrepreneurial activity, internet access and speed, research and development investments and venture capital funding.

Utah tied California, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and New York for first place in the total venture capital per capita. In the Human Capital rankings, Utah came in 14th, and in the Innovation Environment metric, it earned a fourth place rank.

Karissa Neely Daily Herald  Mar 23, 2017

Karissa Neely reports on Business & North County events, and can be reached at (801) 344-2537 or kneely@heraldextra.com. Follow her on Twitter: @DHKarissaNeely

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