Distribution

Google Fiber Hits a Speed Bump

Overland Park Delays Vote So City Council Can Vet a ‘Technicality’ 9/17/2013 7:57 AM Eastern

Google Fiber’s race across the Kansas City market took a pit stop Monday when the city council of Overland Park, Kan., postponed a vote that would have cleared the way for Google to build out its fiber network there.

The council opted to hold off the vote so it can vet and resolve a “technicality” in the proposed agreement with the city, according to The Kansas City Star, noting that the vote has been delayed until October 14.

“I appreciate Google being interested in our community because Overland Park is one of the best cities in the country,” said council member Paul Lyons. “There is so much excitement about Google Fiber, and I know people think we should blindly go forward, but I think we need to look at this in a dispassionate way and have due diligence,” council member Paul Lyons said, according to the paper.

The council did not outline any specific points of contention. Google Fiber’s original deal with Kansas City, Kan., does allow Google to terminate its agreement two years after it started its network build out, according to franchise documents. If that option is taken, operations of the network could be handed to a third party.

The addition of Overland Park would represent a sizable addition to Google Fiber’s expanding Kansas City cluster. It has a population of about 178,919 along with more than 76,000 housing units, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. AT&T, SureWest Communications and Time Warner Cable are the incumbent service providers in the Overland Park area.

The delay in Overland Park is a rare hiccup for Google Fiber, which is in the process of building out its network in Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo.

Mission Hills and Fairway, Kan., gave Google Fiber the green light last week. Other nearby cities and towns that have awarded approvals to Google Fiber include Roeland Park, Merriam, Leawood, Prairie Village, Mission, Shawnee, and Olathe, Kan.

According to the Google Fiber’s buildout schedule, it has connected 12 fiberhoods on the Kansas side, and two in Missouri. Dozens more are currently in progress.

Outside of K.C., Google Fiber plans to launch services on the iProvo network in Provo, Utah, later this year, and to start connecting homes in Austin, Texas, by mid-2014.

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