Google Fiber's Austin launch delayed by permitting process

Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) had high ambitions to start delivering its 1 Gbps service in Austin, Texas, sometime this spring, but gaining permits for rights of way to lay its fiber has held up that process, reports KXAN-TV.

Amid great fanfare, Google initially said last April that it would begin connecting area homes by mid-2014 with fiber, offering the same service options that Kansas City residents currently choose from.

A Google spokesperson told KXAN News recently that now they think they may be able to start signing up residents for service this summer.

According to a KXAN report, the service provider has about 36 active or pending rights of way use permits.

"Google Fiber proposes to place via directional drilling approximately 8,000 of buried conduit and associated vaults," reads one of the pending Temporary Right of Way Use Permits.

In the meantime, competitors AT&T (NYSE: T) and Grande Communications continue to make progress with their own 1 Gbps-capable fiber to the home (FTTH) service offerings.

AT&T just announced that it would offer its 1 Gbps FTTH service to nearly 3,000 homes in four Texas-based communities, including Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville and Leander, via an agreement with home developer PulteGroup. After seeing a strong uptake for the FTTH service it launched in Austin last December, it said in January it plans to double the number of areas where it will provide the service. 

Meanwhile, cable overbuilder Grande Communications said in February that it plans to deliver a 1 Gbps-based FTTH service for $65 a month to a quarter of its existing 75,000 Austin customers.

For more:
- KXAN-TV has this article

Related articles:
Google Fiber comes to Austin, mayor announces
AT&T to bring 1 Gbps FTTH service to North Carolina
AT&T's Stephenson: We'll equip other markets with FTTH
AT&T, Google will face challenge from Grande's $65 1 Gbps offer in Austin