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City Takes First Step To Secure Fast Google Fiber Internet

Google Fiber could be on its way to San Antonio. City leaders took the first step to help make sure that happens.

With the approval of a master lease agreement by the San Antonio City Council, Google Fiber may be speeding toward the Alamo City.

To help seal the deal, the city moved forward with the agreement, making the city the landlord, and Google the tenant, in which it will rent city-owned premises like fire and police stations to install network huts.

The city's Economic Development Department director Rene Dominguez told the city council that there will be about 40 such sites, with a rent of $2,250 per site. That comes to $90,000 each year.

"As context for this discussion," Dominguez said to the council at Thursday's city council meeting, "we thought it'd be very helpful to explain to you what fiber to the home is. What we're really talking about is dramatically increasing the residential quality of internet access, and as you all know, this access and the quality of that access is critical to our vibrancy, to our competitiveness here in San Antonio," he said.

Mayor Julian Castro echoed his words by repeating what he said when Google Fiber officials came to San Antonio to announce that the city was one of nine other metro areas under consideration for the connectivity project.

Google Fiber will help drive lower internet speeds with competition, he said, and it will help the city's race toward a more robust and vibrant landscape citywide.

Google will study San Antonio's infrastructure to determine whether it would wire the city for extremely fast internet speeds up to 1 gigabit per second. That's 100 times faster than what the average American experiences at home. The sites where the huts would be installed include city-owned property like police and fire stations.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.