Google Fiber reassures city leaders it's here to stay

Company says halting of projects in other cities, layoffs won't have in SA

By Myra Arthur - Anchor/Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Despite word of employee cuts and the halting of projects in a handful of other cities, including Dallas, Google Fiber told City Council members Wednesday that should not affect its ongoing project to provide faster internet to the Alamo City.

“We've already begun construction here in San Antonio and things are moving forward,” said Tyler Wallis, who is overseeing the local Google Fiber project. “So we don’t expect an impact here."

Also Wednesday, city staff says it plans to do a better job of notifying neighborhoods when installation of the fiber will begin in their area.

The city plans to give neighborhood associations 30 days’ notice before the work begins.

A week prior to installation, electronic message boards will be placed along affected streets.

Residents can expect to have notices placed on their front door three days before the work begins.

“I think we underestimated how fast the fiber companies were going to deploy throughout the city and so it’s important that residents and business owners know when construction is coming,” said Mike Frisbie, director of Transportation and Capital Improvements. “And so a lot of this has to do with construction. So making sure they know when streets are going to have contractors working and so forth. That’s why we’re working with fiber providers to get (the word) out well ahead of their construction.”

The city also wants crew members to wear visible identification saying who they are installing fiber for, whether Google or AT&T.

AT&T fiber services are already available to 150,000 people in Bexar County.

It could be another 18 months to two years after Google Fiber completes the “backbone” of its installation before you can expect to get Google Fiber-fast internet, said Frisbie.

Frisbie adds that estimated timetable is largely due to Google not having any infrastructure previously established in San Antonio, unlike AT&T.

Neighbors have complained about the large Google Fiber huts being installed in their neighborhood parks.

Seventeen Google Fiber huts are planned for locations around the city.

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