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San Antonio Takes Major Step Toward Google Fiber

Two companies have filed permitting paperwork on behalf of the tech giant, and Google confirmed July 1 that it has filed its first permit application with the city.

(TNS) — Google Fiber isn’t a done deal in San Antonio yet – but the tech giant is getting closer.

Two companies working for Google in San Antonio have filed permitting paperwork on behalf of the tech giant, and Google confirmed Wednesday afternoon to the San Antonio Express-News that it has filed its first permit application with the city. The application signals a major step closer to announcing that it will offer its ultra-fast network here.

“We are thrilled that Google is taking the next step to bring high speed Internet service to San Antonio,” City Manager Sheryl Sculley said. “City staff have worked closely with Google for two years on their plans to expand in our city, and this step brings us closer to Google Fiber service being offered here.”

Though Google Inc. has yet to announce that San Antonio is getting the service here, on Wednesday, Ervin Cable Construction Company registered with the city to pull for the Google Fiber project. And earlier this month, Byers Engineering Company filed a 33-page plan that outlines how Ervin would install the fiber-optic network along several residential streets in the Great Northwest neighborhood on the city’s Northwest Side.

Sources say, however, that the document doesn’t point to that neighborhood being first in line to get Google Fiber, which offers Internet speeds some 100 times faster than typical broadband. In February 2014, the Mountain View, California-based company announced that San Antonio was one of nine metro areas in the running for the fiber-optic network.

Though San Antonio didn’t make the cut earlier this year when Google Inc. selected other cities from that cohort, work here quietly continued.

“San Antonio has been great to work with as we’ve explored bringing Google Fiber to the city, and this first permit is an important next step,” a Google spokeswoman said in an email. “There’s still a lot of work to do, but we hope to provide an update about whether we can bring Fiber to San Antonio soon.”

The San Antonio Express-News obtained the 33-page permit submission under the Texas Public Information Act.

The document reveals detailed traffic-control plans to be used during construction along with schematics mapping conduit and “proposed strand” in the Northwest Side neighborhood.

Hugh Miller, the city’s chief technology officer, said San Antonio continues to make progress with Google.

“It’s a pretty good milestone for us,” he said of the city receiving Google’s first permit request. “It’s a big deal… We hope to have whatever’s left with them buckled up pretty soon.”

©2015 the San Antonio Express-News, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.