Report: Google Fiber starts Austin buildout

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A published report indicates that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Fiber has begun its anticipated buildout in Austin, Texas, but that the company will miss its original deadline to start connecting homes by the middle of 2014.

A story in Multichannel News quoted Google Fiber spokeswoman Jenna Wandres as confirming the start of construction. The story also cited an Austin American-Statesman report quoting Wandres: "It's a big construction project so it takes a whole lot of time to plan for. We're working as quickly as we can to get fiber to Austin residents and we hope to have more information to share soon. It's a lot of work and we want to make sure we are doing it right."

Google Fiber, the story noted, hasn't said when it will start the sign-up process for its 1 Gbps service in the city. AT&T (NYSE: T) has been rolling out U-verse with GigaPower in the city with a base 300 Mbps service to start and Grande Communications has begun to offer 1 gig services to select areas of the town. The competitive market also has seen Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) upgrade equipment in anticipation of offering 300 Mbps speeds.

Earlier this week, Google Fiber got the OK to go ahead and fiber up Overland Park, Kan., when the Overland Park City Council approved two agreements, effectively ending a back-and-forth regulatory-based battle between the city and the service provider.

"We're thrilled to be working with Overland Park again," Google said in a statement emailed to PCMag.com, noting that it would still need to "spend the next few months making sure it's possible to build our network here" but that the city's approval "was a great step forward."

Coincidentally, even as service providers thrashed out details of fiber-based 1 Gbps rollouts, Alcatel-Lucent this week revealed that it had delivered 10 Gbps speeds across existing copper networks under select trial conditions and that 1 Gbps over fiber was becoming more likely. If the G.fast technology advances come to fruition, it would put telcos at least on the level of cable operators using new versions of DOCSIS and fiber-based networks.

For more:
- Multichannel News has this story
- PCMag.com has this story

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