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Technology & Entrepreneurship

No Word Yet On How Google Plans To Proceed With San Antonio Fiber Plans

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Robert Scoble http://bit.ly/1Q20DSP
/

Nearly a month ago, San Antonio halted Google Fiber's construction over complaints about the size, location and appearance of its infrastructure huts.

"Google, they're two to three weeks out ... before they talk to us. What we do know is they're re-evaluating the whole network here in San Antonio," said Deputy San Antonio City Manager Peter Zanoni at a Jan. 18 council briefing.

Now, three weeks later, city staff said while it has been in touch with Google, there's still no word on how the tech giant will address city and community concerns over the placement of the huts that house the fiber interface equipment.

The city halted construction of the remaining 15 Google huts and identified eight that will need to be relocated, which city staff said could mean a redesign of the fiber network in some areas.

City Manager Sheryl Sculley said the city doesn't know how its action will impact Google's deployment.

"I'm unfamiliar with their timeline," she said. "They haven't shared that with us yet but I'm optimistic."

Councilman Mike Gallagher was optimistic in January after the initial pause, at the time saying he thought it would only be a month or two before things were back on track. Haskin Park, the site of the first Google Fiber hut and the first to receive backlash, is in his district. Gallagher's optimism has been tempered a bit.

"Yeah, I think we need to add another month or two onto that," he said.

Google Fiber representatives said they have no updates on their timeline.

Last week, Google Fiber started taking orders for internet service in Raleigh, North Carolina, where it is building in several municipalities called the "research triangle." Raleigh, like San Antonio, was named a Google Fiber expansion city in late 2015.

Paul Flahive can be reached at paul@tpr.org or on Twitter @paulflahive