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Google Fiber construction disrupting K.C. residents' lives

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There is no such thing as a free ride on the high-speed Internet, Kansas City, Mo., residents are learning as the construction of Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Fiber disrupts their daily lives with burst gas lines, construction workers in their backyards and ripped up lawns.

Unhappy residents have been contacting the city, which has been contacting Google, which--a story in the Kansas City Star says--is pressuring its contractors.

"Unfortunately, from time to time there is disruption," Google Fiber spokeswoman Jenna Wandres told the newspaper, adding that when Google hears about problems, "we work to fix them as soon as possible."

Of course, the biggest problem is that contractors tend to be messy. "It seems like they're just slamming this stuff in there," Mac Andrew, a resident of the Verona Hills neighborhood complained. "It's just a sloppy operation."

Andrew's complaint was echoed by Mary Jo Kaifer, a resident of the Amber Meadows neighborhood in nearby Clay County, Mo., who said that the contractors are "doing a pretty darn crummy job" having hit a gas line under her driveway, among other things.

Part of the problem might be that Google is hustling to get the work accomplished during good weather and ahead of a deployment planned by AT&T (NYSE: T), which will be slightly less disruptive because it will mostly cover an upgrade of existing equipment compared to Google's start-from-scratch effort.

Google's plans are to finish up in the city by the end of the year and move into the suburbs.

As for how many complaints Google's getting, that's a mystery to city officials since Google's not contractually required to offer that information. Google Fiber promises that it is closely monitoring its contractors and will respond immediately to urgent situations and work to fix cosmetic damage in a couple days.

"Sometimes there is a slight delay because of circumstances that are out of our hands … Sometimes we don't get the complaints immediately," Wandres told the newspaper. "We keep working to keep fiber construction noise, mess to a minimum."

For more:
- see this Kansas City Star story

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