Permits filed as Google Fiber approaches initial launch

AUSTIN (KXAN) — KXAN News found dozens of city permits related to Google Fiber activity, as details about specifically when and where the high-speed Internet network will launch remain unknown.

When Google first announced it would come to Austin the company planned to “start connecting homes in Austin by mid-2014.”

More recently, a Google spokesperson told KXAN News the company was hoping to open sign ups for Google Fiber this summer.

“I would hope [Google Fiber would come to my neighborhood],” said Katherine Reagan, who lives near one of the spots where Google has applied for a permit. “We saw the billboards back about six months ago when they first started to introduce the idea of maybe having Google Fiber come out to Austin.”

In order to build its network, Google plans to run thousands of miles of fiber-optic cables through the city. That process, Google confirmed in February, would be happening over the next several months.

A KXAN analysis also found at least 36 active or pending temporary right of way use permits in the city.

“Google Fiber proposes to place via directional drilling approximately 8000′ of buried conduit and associated vaults,” reads one of the pending Temporary Right of Way Use Permits.

Time Warner Cable announced it will be offering Internet speeds six times faster than what they currently offer in Austin, starting this summer.

Texas company Grande Communications launched its 1 Gbps speeds in central Texas.

Before that, the fastest residential Internet speed was offered through AT&T’s U-verse with GigaPower. That service boasts 300 Mbps — fast enough to download seven songs in a second. The company plans to boost the speed to 1 Gbps later this year.

 

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