Thursday, September 12, 2013

Google Fiber Install – The Wait


One of the things I plan to share with everyone is our experience with Google Fiber.  I’m assuming a good number of people who still visit this blog have pretty much tried to ignore much of the talk about Google Fiber once they realized they aren’t in the first cities to get it.  For those of you curious about the experience though I think I’ll have quite a bit to share.  To get things started I’ll talk about one of the most exciting, yet frustrating parts of being on the “I’m getting Google Fiber” list – the wait.  Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m very fortunate to be in the first city getting Google Fiber, but the wait has been long since that announcement.

Here’s the timeline:

June 18, 2011 – Google purchased SageTV, one of the best Home Theater PC (HTPC) systems available.  This created some excitement among my fellow SageTV users, but a lot of fear over what would happen to SageTV and its community.

July 10, 2011 – GeekTonic speculated that Google purchased SageTV for it’s powerful DVR and set-top-box ecosystem.  The popular sentiment in the tech blogging community was that DVR was about placeshifting to help the Google TV product.  We now know that SageTV IS Google Fiber TV and nothing to do with Google’s languishing Google TV product.

July 26, 2012 - Google along with the mayors of Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO announce that Kansas City (both cities) would be the first Google Fiber City.  We learned at that time that there was a very fast, fiber internet connection as well as a TV component.  I also happened to get  a visit from Mr. SageTV himself, the head of SageTV that day which confirmed that SageTV was in fact the new TV product being packaged with Google Fiber.

At this point there was a pre-registration process where google separated the core of Kansas City urban areas into “fiberhoods”.  They would use the number of signups per capita to help them decide which fiberhoods to start with and in some cases which neighborhoods to skip for now. 

September 12, 2012 - 180 out of 202 fiberhoods made the cut and were ranked in order of when their sign-up and installs would be.


I had just moved into a neighborhood that was selected as #26 on the Missouri side of Kansas City.  Very exciting for me to say the least, but I also saw that the install timeline put my new fiberhood at around Spring/Summer 2013 which meant a long, one-year wait!  Still, I was ahead of much of the Kansas City area not to mention the rest of the U.S.

I registered for the complete Internet/TV package with two TV boxes.  I’m pretty sure I registered in the first hour I could do so.

May 2013 – I moved into a new loft that we had just purchased.  It was in the same neighborhood so I was able to switch my Google Fiber registration to the new place fairly easily.  Plus install time was getting closer all the time!

Summer 2013 – Installs were happening around several urban neighborhoods, but I knew very few people who had actually gone through the process.

Late Summer 2013 – I began seeing the trucks and equipment that actually install the fiber in the streets and on power lines.  I’ll show some photos of that process in a future post.

July 2013 – Our building management toured the condo building with Google’s engineers so they could develop the engineering install plan for the building

This poster was posted in a common area in our building.  Notice the notes written on it expressing everyone’s excitement with Google Fiber as well as their opinion of Time Warner Cable :)



July 2013 – Fiber is installed in the streets of downtown Kansas City, MO

August 2013 – Fiber is installed in the streets of my neighborhood.

Early September 2013 – Our building’s HOA reviewed the Google Fiber Installation Plan for our building.  This included choosing between a few options on running the cable through the hallways and what types of cabling to run through the units themselves.  At this meeting we were told actual install could be as soon as October, but could take as long as December 2013!!!!!  The pace of install throughout town does seem to be picking up, but it’s definitely taking some time. 

More on Google Fiber soon.  Let me know what questions you have about Google Fiber in the comments.