The state of Google Fiber in Raleigh

Some will have more options for their internet and TV.

As headlines circulate about behind-the-scenes Google Fiber strife, Google is still pushing for a high-speed rollout in the Triangle, say its representatives.

But neither they, nor the company, will provide specifics.

A recent statement to Triangle Business Journal quotes Erik Garr, Google Fiber’s Triangle site lead, saying his team has already “made great progress in bringing Google Fiber to the Triangle,” and continues to lay cable across the area.

Garr has been unavailable for interviews. But evidence of what the company is doing in Raleigh is visible – both in the orange tubing sticking out of the ground and in city permitting records.

As of August, the city of Raleigh has permits on file at eight addresses associated with the fiber project – for the “Fiber Huts” that will house the physical infrastructure and for the installation itself, including grading projects. A public records request to the city of Raleigh reveals the locations are on Southall Road, New Bern Avenue, Chowan Circle, Beaver Dam Road, Trailwood Drive, Leesville Road, Fossil Creek and Hargett Street.

According to city spokesman John Boyette, Raleigh “continues to issue permits to Google contractors for installation of their ‘back-bone’ infrastructure.”

“Google has a long term plan for the area and is working to achieve its goals,” he said in an email.  But it’s a massive plan. An official with the city of Raleigh said last year that the city could be looking at “at least two years” before a rollout.

The company is expected to construct the entire backbone before connecting customers. And the backbone is expected to span the metros it’s targeted here: Raleigh, Durham, Garner, Cary, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Morrisville.

The overall plan for the Triangle involves 26 fiber huts and more than 5,700 miles of fiber-optic cable, according to Google.

In the meantime, other fiber players are already connecting customers, such as AT&T, which has been offering its GigaPower high-speed plan in the Triangle.

Joan Marsh, AT&T’s vice president of federal regulatory, addressed the competition bluntly in a recent blog post: “Welcome to the broadband network business, Google Fiber. We’ll be watching your next move from our rear view mirror. Oh, and pardon our dust.”

By: Lauren Ohnesorge who covers information technology and entrepreneurship.
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