Google Fiber causing disruption in Charlotte, N.C.

Google Fiber's going through some growing pains as it builds its network in Charlotte, N.C., but city officials say the company's severing of gas lines and resulting traffic issues are not unusual when a company is building a new network.

In an interview with FierceInstaller, Phil Reiger, assistant manager of Charlotte's Department of Transportation, said the overall level of disruption from Google Fiber's installation is "about what we would expect."

Reiger said that Google Fiber's network installation issues are comparable to what AT&T and Time Warner Cable have experienced when upgrading or building their networks.

Installers have faced adverse weather for this summer's deployment, Reiger said. The weather in Charlotte has been hot and dry, making the ground "like concrete." In such conditions, workers are required to use hand tools before doing directional boring. Use of spades on hard, dry ground has been difficult, Reiger said.

"Google is following all the rules," he said.

However, according to the Charlotte Observer, Google Fiber's deployment efforts are "a lingering inconvenience" that are an annoyance to residents. Among the complaints are disrupted traffic, patched driveways and missing grass.

Although Google Fiber has occasionally severed gas lines during its build, Reiger said that he could count on his hands the number of such instances. There have been a few local press reports about gas lines being hit.

On balance, Reiger contends, the benefits to the community of faster, more affordable broadband and increased technology investment are worth it.  "You've got to break an egg to make an omelette," he said.

Bechtel is the general contractor for many of Google's deployments.

For more:
- see this Charlotte Observer article

- see this WSOC-TV article

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