Google commitment to Fiber in San Jose expected soon

Google has been jumping through the required hoops to bring its ultra-fast Internet service Google Fiber to San Jose, but hasn’t yet committed to providing it. However, San Jose officials expect that well before summer’s end, the tech giant will announce it’s going ahead with gigabit-speed Internet in the city.

It remains possible that Google would decide not to provide Fiber service in San Jose, but its work to date on the project suggests it will commit to the service.

On Tuesday, the San Jose City Council unanimously approved Google’s plan to reduce negative impacts from construction of a fiber-cable network, and council also gave Google the OK on site leases for five more “huts” to house cable and equipment. One additional important approval will come later this summer, for an agreement that Google will pay the city’s projected $7 million in permitting and inspecting costs on the project for the following three years, said city spokesman David Vossbrink.

Vossbrink said that “well before” that agreement goes to the council for approval, Google is likely to announce officially that it will bring Fiber to San Jose.

“Google appears very eager to move quickly,” Vossbrink said. “Based on the City approvals they’ve already secured, the level of their investment and effort to get the project to this point, and their other actions needed to proceed, we’re very optimistic that the (Fiber) project is very close to beginning construction.”

Gigabit-speed Internet is more than 30 times faster than the average residential download speed in California, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Google Fiber construction will affect “most, if not all” neighborhoods in the city, according to city documents. However, while Google plans to dig trenches in streets to install cable, it also plans to bore tunnels for cable from point to point, to minimize the amount of trenching required. It also intends to install cable in some areas via one-inch-wide “microtrenching” that is filled in quickly as cable is laid, according to city documents.

Google estimates that 60 percent of its cable will go underground, with 40 percent strung from utility poles.  Construction is expected to take three years.


Photo: The Google logo (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)


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