Infrastructure & Environment

Cities Meet Google Fiber Deadline, But ‘Loose Ends’ Remain

May 2, 2014

All 34 cities targeted for the expansion of Google'S fast Fiber Internet service met a deadline on Thursday by responding to a long list of requirements from the company.

However, Google said there are “loose ends” to tie up, highlighting the challenge of building a new communication network to compete with incumbents such as Comcast, Verizon and AT&T.

Google in February named the cities, including Phoenix, San Jose and San Antonio, as possible new sites for Fiber, which offers data-transfer speeds of up to one gigabit per second, much faster than most existing Internet services.

Google sent the cities a 29-page checklist, seeking information on construction permitting, the location of electrical lines and utilities, and areas where the company can put its Fiber “huts” – little buildings direct the service into homes. The cities had until Thursday to respond.

In a blog post, Google said the cities had completed the checklists “for the most part,” adding “there’s still a lot of work to do over the next few months.”

Among other things, Google needs to buy or lease land for its Fiber huts, which are larger than 1,000 square feet, and finalize those license agreements with several cities. It’s seeking to streamline permitting processes for thousands of permit applications. And it needs video-franchise agreements with the city or state, giving it permission to build a local network.

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