Google Pauses Plans To Build Google Fiber In Their Own Backyard

Image courtesy of Discrete_Photography

There’s a funny thing about silicon valley: the place in the country synonymous with high-tech, internet-based industry is not one of the places with the fanciest, most modern broadband networks. And now it’s going to have to wait even longer to get its turn.

As The Mercury News, a San Jose-area paper, reports, Google’s tentative plans to build out Fiber in the area have been put on hold for the time being.

Google got the necessary permits from San Jose back in May, and so everyone expected the three-year construction project to begin in July. Instead, a hundred workers who were supposed to be doing the installation were told that the project was on delay, and offered transfers to another site.

San Jose isn’t alone; Palo Alto and Mountain View (yes, where Google’s actual headquarters are) were also expecting to be working on the Fiber plan in the near future. Mountain View’s public works director told the Mercury News that Google’s announcement of a delay “was a surprise,” adding, “We didn’t expect it because we were working on what was their plan at the time.”

So why the hold? Well, it turns out that a giant underground fiber project is both very complicated and very expensive. The original plan called for about 60% of the infrastructure to be underground, with 40% aerial (i.e. on poles). The new plan, however, may hinge on a recent Google acquisition: a company that specializes in high-speed wireless broadband using transmitters instead of (expensive, cumbersome) cables.

Adding to the cost of digging is the fact that incumbent providers, including Comcast, Charter, and AT&T, work really hard to prevent Google from getting pole and right-of-way access in areas where they operate, when they can.

For now, Google still lists San francisco as an upcoming Fiber city (at least, in part) and has San Jose on its “potential” city shortlist.

San Jose’s Google Fiber rollout is delayed while tech giant explores alternatives