Google is ready to start stringing fiber for its gigabit network, according to a blog post from the search giant on Monday. The news comes as a welcome update to its project to lay a gigabit fiber-to-the-home network in both Kansas Cities after the local newspaper reported last month that Google was having trouble with hanging its fiber along utility poles.
However, it looks like those issues may finally be resolved with Google paying the same attachment fees that cable and telecommunications companies pay utilities to use their poles, as opposed to paying additional costs associated with stringing cable higher up on the pole where electricity cables hang. A Google spokeswoman confirmed that the fiber was getting strung, but couldn’t tell me what percentage of the network would be underground as opposed to aerial. She said via email, “We don’t have a percentage estimate but we’re starting on utility poles and down the line, the fiber-to-the-home connections will be terrestrial.” Fiber is far cheaper to deploy aerially than planted in the ground because it avoids the labor costs associated with digging trenches.
Google has said it would start signing up customers by the end of 2011 and that it would begin connecting customers in “early 2012.” If the company has just begun laying its fiber, that may push things back a bit. The project has experienced a few minor delays, but so far seems to be moving ahead. Rather than when, I’m actually far more curious about what Google’s network architecture will be and what it will cost.