"We've measured the utility poles; we've studied maps and surveyed neighborhoods; we've come up with a comprehensive set of detailed engineering plans; and we've eaten way too much barbeque. Now, starting today, we're ready to lay fiber," Kevin Lo, the general manager of Google Access, said in a Google blog post.
Now two years into the project, Google has yet to say when it will connect live customers to the network (or which neighborhoods will get connected first), but officials did cite a target of "early 2012" last July.
Count Consolidated Communications Inc. among those that will be interested in delivering services on Google's fiber network now that the service provider has agreed to buy SureWest Communications (Nasdaq: SURW), which expects to operate plant near Google's project but won't necessarily overlap it. (See Consolidated to Buy SureWest for $340.9M .)
"We view it more of an opportunity than a risk," Consolidated President and CEO Bob Currey said of Google's fiber network, when asked about it on a conference call Monday.
Why this matters
Google's project is apparently on track again, after getting bogged down in negotiating fees to string its fiber lines to public utility poles.
Once the area's fiber backbone is built and Google begins to connect customers, the resulting services should apply some competitive pressure on incumbents such as Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T).
Catch up on Google's 1-Gig jig.
- Google's Fiber Project Hits a Snag
- Google's Fiber Engineers Descend on Kansas City
- Google to Plant More Kansas City Fiber
- Will Google Start a 1-Gig Fiber Renaissance?
- Google's 1-Gig Fiber Winner: Kansas City, KS
- Google Jumps Into Gigabit FTTH
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable