Shout out to the "Enchilada Red "Central Library included in this cheesy shot.
Google Fiber — the long-promised
, lighting-fast internet provider — is finally going live in San Antonio. Well, for a few people. And not right away.
According to a Tuesday press release, San Antonians living in Westover Hills or near West End Park (by Woodlawn Lake) can sign up for the new fiber optic internet service starting today. It's unclear how long it'll take for applicants to actually get plugged into Google Fiber after signing up for the $55/month service — $15 dollars less than Google's 11 other Fiber-ed cities ("Super fast Internet service for less than the speed limit on I-35," according to the city's Google Fiber manager, Tyler Wallis).
This announcement comes after years of contentious three-way tug-of-war
between City Council, Google officials, and irritated neighbors over the size and placement of vital infrastructure Google needed to build before going live. A North Side neighborhood committee successfully convinced the city to remove one of the so-called "Google huts" (small storage sheds for fiber cables) in their local park, temporarily putting the citywide project on hold. The only other Google hut sits uncontested in West End Park, which is why it's the first area to flip the switch.
Those West Side residents, however, have just over a month to sign up for the service. Google will close sign ups for those two west side neighborhoods on Dec. 21, and presumably focus on getting other neighbors on board. It's unknown which areas are next on the sign-up list or when those west siders can sign up again if they missed the deadline.
“Access to high-speed broadband is a critical piece of creating an economically viable city,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg in the press release. “I am pleased to see increased investment in high-speed internet throughout the community. This infrastructure is crucial to enhanced economic development and educational opportunities for San Antonians.”
To "celebrate the launch of service," Google Fiber representatives will be setting up in coffeeshops, grocery stores, and community centers today (Tuesday) to answer resident's questions and "share in the excitement." Here are the locations:
We're unsure how any San Antonians who haven't heard of Google Fiber yet (the ones with arguably the most questions) will know this is going on before the day-long info session is over.