San Antonio could be getting Google Fiber much sooner than expected, according to recent public works permits allowing for shallow trenching and installation of cables.
From January 2016 to mid-October 2017, Google Fiber has filed for 17 public works permits in San Antonio, with the bulk of those being in 2017. Five of them have end dates ranging from October 30 to November 30, potentially meaning there is work currently happening.
The permits range in what they allow, but all of permits with end dates since October 30 say they are to allow shallow trenching. Google Fiber is currently using the technique in Louisville, KY to outpace rival AT&T Fiber.
A Google Fiber spokesperson confirmed there is current construction, but didn't say when fiber will be available for customers.
SEE: Internet and Email usage policy (Tech Pro Research)
Google Fiber has teased their arrival in Alamo City recently, including an October 27 tweet saying, "We're almost there." The tweet includes a link to sign up for arrival notifications, adding that construction is in progress.
An April 2017 story from the San Antonio Express-News said the provider will be using a "new trenching method," presumably shallow trenching, to expedite the installation process while being less invasive. Shallow trenching, which involves cutting a small groove into a road or sidewalk to hold the cable, was a key factor in how Louisville was able to get fiber in five months.
San Antonio is the only upcoming city on the Google Fiber Cities map. Up until last month, Louisville was also labeled an upcoming city, but it was quickly switched to active city status after the public announcement of its arrival in October.
Google Fiber officials announced Fiber was officially heading to Louisville in May after its "reset" last year, when the CEO was fired and fiber construction was halted in several cities. Most of those cities remain on the potential Google Fiber city list on the Fiber Cities map.
In Louisville, Google Fiber has been involved in a turf war with its biggest rival, AT&T Fiber, to be the first to bring fiber internet to the Derby City. San Antonio is no different—in August, AT&T Fiber announced it could connect new locations in the city, now able to hit around 230,000 locations.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- San Antonio is currently being outfitted for Google Fiber, as shown in multiple public works permits and confirmed by a Google Fiber spokesperson.
- All permits with end dates of Oct. 30, 2017 or later specifically allow for shallow trenching, a method for laying cables quickly and without too much invasion into the community.
- San Antonio will be the second market Google Fiber introduced in 2017. Louisville, KY was the first, receiving fiber in October.
- How Google Fiber launched in Louisville in just 5 months (TechRepublic)
- Google Fiber: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
- Google Fiber is using a secret weapon to outpace AT&T and other gigabit competitors (TechRepublic)
- Google Fiber buys Webpass to speed up broadband deployment in cities (CNET)
- Google Fiber 2.0 targets the city where it will stage its comeback, as AT&T Fiber prepares to go nuclear (TechRepublic)
- AT&T to Google Fiber: Suck it up, broadband is tough - and get ready to eat our dust (ZDNet)
- Google Fiber is finally set to announce its next city, but don't call it a comeback yet (TechRepublic)
Olivia Krauth is a Multiplatform Reporter at TechRepublic.