Google Fiber Update from December
Google Fiber is working on the layout of the system, determining where Google Fiber Huts and cabinets need to be located, where existing utility poles are located, and where the Fiberhood boundaries will be. The fiber cable travels from the Internet backbone to the Google Fiber huts, then strung along utility poles or buried underground to cabinets that will serve the Fiberhoods. The huts are about the size of a dumpster; the cabinets are the size of the small utility boxes you see within neighborhoods. Each cabinet serves a few hundred homes. Google is seeking input from the Design Commission to optimize the visual impact of huts and cabinets near public spaces. A portion of the utility poles needed to support the fiber are owned by AT&T, which has refused to negotiate with Google for shared use of the poles. The Council is expected to hear an ordinance soon that would help ensure that infrastructure placed in public ROW is available for multiple uses and users.
The Fiberhood boundaries will be based on physical and geographical aspects of bringing fiber cable to each household in the area, not on neighborhood boundaries as we know them. After the Fiberhood boundaries are determined, Google will require residents to pre-register with Google Fiber to determine interest for the service. The registration will be conducted from a Google Fiber website that will show the level of interest within each Fiberhood, making the process very transparent. Fiberhoods will be given a deadline to express interest in fiber service, helping neighborhood leaders promote the need to neighborhoods in a timely manner. When the level of interest for service within a Fiberhood warrants the construction costs, the fiber cable will be extended from the local Fiberhood cabinets to each subscribing residence.
Members of the ANC Executive Committee met with the head of Google Fiber, Mark Strama, to discuss the implementation of Fiberhoods in Austin. This is a summary of that meeting.