Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Google Fiber Apologizes For Construction Inconvenience, But What Can Austin Expect?

Nathan Bernier/KUT
Mayor Lee Leffingwell at the Google Fiber announcement on April 9, 2013.

  Google offered an update earlier this week on its the impending high-speed, gigabit internet services coming to Austin.

But the announcement also came with an apology.  Google plans to buildout of 3,000 miles of fiber, and warned of impending inconveniences as contractors tinker with utility poles dig tunnels to bury the fiber.

Kansas City was the first Fiber project, and Aaron Deacon of KC Digital Drive – a state-sponsored non-profit that helped rollout Fiber across the city – says the project has laid about 7,000 miles of fiber optic cable so far.

“It’s not unlike any big construction project that happens in a city. There’s a lot of digging up streets and laying fiber cables and patching up the streets,” he says. “There’s certainly some disruption because of that.”

Many of the disruptions will likely be in the central and downtown areas, which is where Fiber concentrated its initial construction in Kansas City. Google contractors will also be working on utility poles, clearing room for Fiber on communications and power lines, the company's announcement said.

Deacon says there are still upwards of 20 municipalities waiting or negotiating for rights to Fiber. To Austinites itching for gigabit, Deacon says it’ll take a while.

“It’s not a magic bullet. It’s a long-term play,” he says, admitting that even he’s waiting for service in his own neighborhood. “It’ll take a long time for [the service] to take effect and for its benefits to take effect.”

Fiber plans to announce updates on its progress in Austin next month.

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
Related Content