If the Alamo City doesn't make the cut for Google Fiber, it won't be for lack of trying.
Google imposed a May 1 deadline to hand over troves of information that will help it decide where to roll out its super-fast fiber-optic network. San Antonio had completed the tasks in late March and met the deadline, said Hugh Miller, the city's chief technology officer.
San Antonio remains the only city of the 34 in the running to have approved an important master-lease agreement with Google, allowing the company to install its “Fiber Huts” on municipal property around the city.
That the 33 other cities haven't completed that task isn't enough for them to be disqualified, however.
All cities have provided the substantive, required information, said Google spokeswoman Jenna Wandres, though their councils still need to approve the lease agreements.
Mayor Julián Castro is convinced that when Google announces which cities will receive its fiber network, San Antonio will be on the list.
“The city has delivered to Google everything it needs to make its final decision,” Castro said. “I'm confident that in the near future, San Antonio will officially become a Google Fiber city.”
Now that San Antonio has completed its tasks, Google has to obtain a “video franchise agreement” from the state and reach agreements with CPS Energy and AT&T to lease space on utility poles that would hold fiber-optic lines. The Mountain View, California-based tech firm also will meet with San Antonio officials to ensure the Development Services Department can handle thousands of permit requests that Google would make as it constructs the network.
After that, Google will draft blueprints of what its network would look like in San Antonio.
Wandres said Google still expects to make decisions on where to roll out its fiber network in 2014.
Though Google hasn't officially decided on whether to build in San Antonio, the prospect of the project has already begun to drive competition. AT&T recently asked for, and received, an identical master-lease agreement with the city so that it could also deploy communications huts that are necessary for fiber-optic networks.
Castro said he's confident that fast Internet will be more readily available and less expensive in San Antonio.
©2014 the San Antonio Express-News