WHAT GOOGLE’S SHIFTS MEAN FOR AUSTIN
Report: Company has canceled high-speed work in Kansas City.
Google Fiber appears to be pulling back on installing its highspeed internet service in Kansas City, Mo., according to published reports, but the technology giant says it’s still committed to rolling out 1-gigabit service here in Austin.
Bloomberg news service reported this week that Google Fiber has been contacting would-be customers in the Kansas City area, telling them their planned installations had been canceled and offering them refunds.
Kansas City was the first city where Google — which has since changed its name to Alphabet Inc. — rolled out its high-speed Fiber service.
“Several hundred people, many of whom paid deposits years ago, are affected, said a person familiar with the situation,” according to the Bloomberg report.
“In markets Google Fiber entered after Kansas City, it was more careful about accepting deposits only for buildings it believed it could connect in coming quarters, the person said, asking not to be identified as the details are private. Fiber is currently in nine locations around the U.S.”
Google Fiber drew national attention — and enthusiastic local support — when it announced in April 2013 that it planned to bring its super-fast Google Fiber service to Austin.
At 1-gigabit speeds, a user can download 25 songs in 1 second, a TV show in 3 seconds and a high-definition movie in less than 36 seconds, according to industry figures. Area officials hailed it as a boon for Austin’s economy and its technology sector.
Google Fiber’s high-speed service made its debut in South and Southeast Austin in 2015.
In a written statement provided to the American-Statesman this week, Google Fiber said it has no plans to scale back its rollout or pull out of the Austin market entirely.
“Google Fiber is here to stay in Austin,” the statement said. “We’ll continue to serve our customers with the same great service they’ve come to expect from us. In areas we’re constructing, we’re working as quickly as we can to complete our Fiber network.
“Thanks to a construction method we’ve been piloting in Austin called micro-trenching, we’ve seen a significant improvement in dig speed (i.e., laying fiber),” the statement said.
Google Fiber has faced its share of challenges launching service in Austin, including delays and hundreds of construction-related complaints from area residents.
‘Google Fiber is here to stay in Austin. ’ Google Fiber In written statement
Google Fiber opened a storefront on Second Street in downtown Austin in the former children’s museum space after beginning the project. The 1-gigabit service made its debut in South and Southeast Austin in 2015, and company official said this week that Google will continue to lay the high-speed fiber in Austin even as it pulls back in metro Kansas City, one of its nine locations.
Sidewalk barriers mark the spot in Southeast Austin’s Springfield subdivision on Running Water Drive early last year as Google Fiber contractors continued installing lines for super-fast internet service. Google Fiber has been the object of hundreds of complaints related to its construction work.