City official: Cedar Park is fiber-ready despite no Google

When the City of Austin announced in April that Google Fiber was coming to the area in 2014, Cedar Park elected officials wondered when the northwest suburb would get the high-speed Internet and television service.

Working with all communication providers in the Cedar Park market, city staff learned that Cedar Park is indeed fiber-ready despite no immediate plans from Google to expand its fiber services beyond Austin.

"They will consider expansion once they get their arms around Austin," said Josh Selleck, Cedar Park assistant city manager, during the May 23 City Council meeting. "When they do, they're going to look at installation costs."

Google Fiber provides Internet speeds up to 100 times faster than existing, available technology, Google Fiber Vice President Milo Medin said during an April 9 press conference. That means a movie can take 0–40 seconds to download with fiber Internet service, while the same movie could take up to two hours to download through DSL, Selleck said.

Cedar Park will update its letter of intent with Google, Selleck said, further emphasizing the city's interest in obtaining high-speed fiber Internet and television service from the California-based provider. As of now, Google Fiber services are offered only in Kansas City with plans to provide service by the end of the year to Provo, Utah.

But in the interim, Selleck said both AT&T and Time Warner Cable have the capability of providing high-speed fiber Internet services to all major Cedar Park commercial corridors. AT&T also has fiber services ready for installation in all neighborhoods built since 2008, he said,

"Basically what they're saying is nowhere in Cedar Park can't be touched because of their existing network," he said.

Time Warner officials told the city that fiber demand did not meet the costs necessary to provide residential services at this time. The provider will, however, include Cedar Park in its free Wi-Fi network that is expected to roll out in Austin this year.

"It is not a Wi-Fi cloud over the entire city," he said, explaining the service will instead be active only in certain selected spots for existing subscribers.

Councilman Stephen Thomas, who requested the information from city staff, said he was satisfied with the findings despite learning Google Fiber would not immediately arrive in Cedar Park.

"The bottom line—you said we are fiber-ready," Thomas said. "That's something we need to make sure high-tech companies do know, that we have that capacity and capability."

By Joe Lanane
Joe Lanane’s career is rooted in community journalism, having worked for a variety of Midwest-area publications before landing south of the Mason-Dixon line in 2011 as the Stillwater News-Press news editor. He arrived at Community Impact Newspaper in 2012, gaining experience as editor of the company’s second-oldest publication in Leander/Cedar Park. He eventually became Central Austin editor, covering City Hall and the urban core of the city. Lanane leveraged that experience to become Austin managing editor in 2016. He managed eight Central Texas editions from Georgetown to San Marcos. Working from company headquarters, Lanane also became heavily involved in enacting corporate-wide editorial improvements. In 2017, Lanane was promoted to executive editor, overseeing editorial operations throughout the company. The Illinois native received his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and his journalism master’s degree from Ball State University.


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