UPDATE: 6:00 PM
San Antonio city officials including Mayor Ivy Taylor and Google Fiber representatives are making it official at Geekdom. They're announcing the construction of a high-speed Internet system in the Alamo City. Technology and civic leaders are tweeting and emailing about the "big-get."
It’s been a year since Google first announced San Antonio as a possible city for its Fiber network making it one of the top priorities of Taylor. She says access to the high speed internet service will open a new universe of possibilities and put he city on par with tech hubs like Seoul and Hong Kong.
“If you build us a network, San Antonio residents will respond with a surge of innovation and ingenuity that will change our community forever and may even change the world.”
City Councilman Ron Nirenberg has helped develop a digital communications strategy for the city.
"Partnerships between the private and public sectors will ensure that San Antonio is a city of opportunity and prosperity by building infrastructure, improving service, expanding access, and reducing cost,” Nirenberg said in a statement.
UPDATE: 10:10 AM:
Google Fiber is coming to San Antonio. The tech giant is formally announcing today it will bring its super-fast Internet service to the Alamo City.
Google first selected San Antonio as a possible fiber city last year. Mark Strama head of Google Fiber Texas says the city’s sheer size is what caused the delay in committing to a network here.
“Some of the other cities got announced sooner, in large part, because they were smaller,” said Strama. “To build a network throughout San Antonio is over 4000 miles of linear construction.” By comparison, that’s about 1000 miles more of fiber line than was needed in Austin, which saw its first customers connected a year and half after its announcement in 2013. Google plans to build the San Antonio connections in segments but Strama couldn’t say which part of the city will get service first.
“As we complete sections of the network, we will start taking sign-ups and serving customers in those areas as they are completed, even as we’re continuing to work in other parts of the city,” he added.
The system will not be using any of the existing unused fiber lines set more than a decade ago by the city's electric utility CPS Energy.
"It's a different type of network that we're building, we don't currently anticipate using any of the CPS dark fiber to deploy."
Google Fiber allows consumers access to a full gigabit per second of download speed. Current speeds are less than one-third that fast. The fiber line will also provide cable television. The service has been touted by some in the tech industry as the next evolution of the Internet. The company hasn’t yet said what it will cost consumers, and how long it will take to connect them.