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Google: Kansas City Fiber Project Still on Track

1/23/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

Google and officials in Kansas City,
Kan., said the Internet giant’s ambitious fiber-tothe-
home project in the region remains on schedule
to go live
for the first
customers in
the first half
of 2012, denying
that
pole-attachment
issues
are slowing
down the
buildout.

Since selecting the municipality in March 2011
for the fiber network, Google — which aims to provide
symmetrical 1-Gigabit-per-second Internet access
— has been mired in a “dispute” about how
aerial fiber should be connected to utility poles in
the city, according to a report last week by The Kansas
City Star
.

Under Google’s deal with the Kansas City Board of
Public Utilities, the municipal power and water provider
that owns the utility poles, Google has the option
of attaching fiber either in the space reserved for
telecommunications for the standard pole-attachment
fee or in the electrical supply space for free (although
the latter is costlier because it requires more
highly skilled technicians).

But both Google and the Kansas City utilities board
said the pole-attachment provision is not a source of
contention.

Google had previously said it would start the signup
process for Kansas City, Kan., customers in the
fourth quarter of 2011. The company decided to delay
that process until the fiber buildout was closer to
launch. Google has not announced expected pricing
or other details of the fiber service.

Eventually Google expects to cover the entire
Kansas City, Kan., population of 147,000 over an area
of about 127 square miles. The company has pledged
to provide free 1-Gbps access to more than 130
government-owned buildings there, including
schools and libraries.

September