Google Fiber prepares to invade Damage Labs

— 10:38 AM on March 23, 2015

As part of the Kansas City metro area, my hometown of Lee's Summit, Missouri has struck a deal to have Google Fiber installed pretty much everywhere. We've known it was coming for a while, but in the past month or so, the installation has been underway in earnest. Seems like there are orange barrels lining every major thoroughfare, and crews are digging beside the roads in order to put fiber into the ground.

This weekend, the fiber installation crews finally made it to my neighborhood out on the edge of town. Since we live on a corner lot, they dug up seven different sections of the yard in the process.

Here's a truck with big spools of the orange innerduct through which the fiber cables will run.

And here's the crew getting ready to... do something or other.

At no point during the process did I tell anyone involved to get off my lawn.

Mostly, my two youngest boys and I just watched them work and waved hello. Although there were big piles of dirt all over the yard while the crews worked, the channels they dug were fairly narrow, maybe a foot wide. You'd barely know they'd been there once they'd finished and put things back together.

The next step is for us to get fiber brought into the house so service can be turned up. When that happens will depend on how many of our neighbors choose to sign up for service. (I filled out the form a couple of weeks ago, when it was first possible to do so.) Google has divided the city into "fiberhoods" and will begin installing service first in those areas with the highest numbers of paying customers. I'm trying to resist going door to door on a recruitment mission and making my neighbors think I joined a Google cult, but it ain't easy.

One clever way Google Fiber is encouraging uptake: pay $300 to cover the cost of fiber installation in your house, and you get seven years of Internet access at 5Mbps down/1Mbps up for no added cost. You can also choose to pay $25/month for the first year and get the same basic thing. So DSL and cable users really have no excuse.

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