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Kansas City Google Fiber tangled up in wiring dispute

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Google Fiber roll out appears to be delayed in Kansas City, Kansas due to a wiring dispute between the firm and local authorities.

Fiber optic cables
Fiber optic cables

Google's Fiber project in Kansas City (Kansas) has hit delays following a dispute over the placement of essential wiring. Google announced in March that it plans to bring high-speed fiber optic connections to Kansas City organizations, businesses, and universities. The Kansas City Star reports that the work has been delayed following concerns over safety and costs.

The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) revealed that it still doesn't "have an approval of the agreement" between the city and Google, and the pair are reportedly working to ensure the costs of installation are reasonable, and safety guidelines are met. The deal involves Google installing cables close to existing power lines with no fees from the city, something that is typically avoided due to safety and maintenance concerns. Google is currently weighing up paying high rates for engineers to complete the tricky installation or paying market rates to install in the reserved space for telecommunications — an option that includes additional fees.

It's not clear when the Fiber network will be ready in Kansas City. Google originally promised to switch on the service in the first quarter this year, following customer sign ups in late 2011, but the firm has not started signing customers yet and refuses to publicly acknowledge a significant delay in the project. Meanwhile, a similar deal in Kansas City, Missouri, took longer to flesh out, but the pair agreed exact details on cable placement and fees before signing.