Saturday, February 08, 2014

The Google Fiber Build-out in Kansas City

It has been well over a year since the announcement that Google Fiber was coming to my Kansas City Neighborhood and I finally have Google Fiber installed in my home. While I know we were one of the lucky first to get Google Fiber, it still felt like a pretty long wait. This first post is an overview of what happened along to road to getting fiber into my condo.

We first learned that Kansas City would be the first to get Google Fiber in June of 2012 and then that September learned that the neighborhood where I had just moved to would be the 26th fiberhood (aka neighborhood) to be installed. We were told at that time it would likely be a Spring/Summer 2013 install time so we knew it would be about a year before we would get installed. What we didn’t realize is this:  Google was really  learning as they did this fiber rollout.  They were really new to this world and that meant things could be slow at first.  In 2012 I had no idea how true that would be.

In August of 2013 contractors dug up streets near our condo and ran the fiber near each building in our neighborhood.

There were a lot of scenes like these around downtown Kansas City this past summer:

If you want the blow-by-blow timeline and details of the last two years up through September, I go through all of that in this article

Finally in October a crew of contractors began wiring our condo building.  They ran fiber from the garage area up into each unit. Here’s a photo of one of the fiber runs coming out in the garage ceiling

The fiber comes into each unit and is covered by this box.   On the wall it kind of looks like a doorbell unit.


At this point it’s just a fiber wire coming into the house.  A week later we received this e-mail from our property manager:

“Now that the internal wiring is finished Google will need approximately two weeks (weather permitting) to finish the final steps of construction. During this time, we will be bringing the fiber from the outside network to the building and finishing the overpull of the fiber.

Once this step has taken place, the residents who have selected their package will be placed in a queue to receive a call/email to schedule the in home installation. Google’s goal is to contact you within one week of the building being completely "live and online" (which means 3 weeks from internal construction wrapping up) to schedule your installation appointment. “

So we were looking at roughly another month wait – something like early-to-mid-December.  Unfortunately we found out there was to be yet another delay:


Thanks for signing up for Google Fiber. We're working as quickly as possible to complete construction for Conover Lofts. We recently discovered an underground damaged pipe that requires additional work to repair. Our installation timeline for your location has been delayed until the middle of February, assuming we do not encounter additional unforeseen delays.

We know getting your Fiber service installed is very important and our team will reach out to you as soon as we've completed construction and are ready to schedule your installation appointment.

If you have any additional questions, contact us by email or chat or give us a call.

- The Google Fiber team”

So Christmas and New Years came and went and no Google Fiber.  Next, on January 24th a contractor came by to test the fiber connections from every unit.  All tested out well so on to the next step.

The next day, January 25th I received an e-mail inviting me to schedule the final installation in my home.  I took the first available install date on January 30th. Next I will describe the installation process and then get to the good stuff. Yes, this took a very long time from the announcement that Google was coming here.  But don’t forget that Google has been learning as they go here.  They are doing most, if not all of the process described above with contractors and based on my discussions with various contractors, they have continued to ramp-up the number of contractors involved which increases the speed of installation in the city exponentially. We’ll watch later this year to see how true that is because the suburban areas of the Kansas City metro have already experienced the fiber being run to their areas. I expect to see a LOT of installs to the Kansas City suburban homes this summer. And Provo and Austin installations are underway as well.  II t wouldn’t surprise me to hear another city or two be mentioned once they reach most areas of Kansas City, but we’ll have to wait to see for sure.