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Google Fiber’s Contractors Create Headaches for Austin Residents

Flash flooding in a neighborhood where storm drains were blocked by construction debris. (Image: Adolfo Romero)

Flash flooding in a neighborhood where storm drains were blocked by Google’s construction debris. (Image: Adolfo Romero)

Some Austin residents are fuming over the sloppy construction work and eyesores left by contractors hired by Google to install its fiber optic service.

Last year, 254 formal complaints were filed against Google and its contractors, by far the largest compared with AT&T and Time Warner Cable, which are also in the process of upgrading their networks in the city.

The epicenter of construction nightmares for homeowners is on Lambs Lane in Southeast Austin, where last October a flash flood allegedly caused by Google’s construction crews blocking nearby storm drains brought two feet of water into the home of Arnulfo and Dolores Cruz, causing $100,000 in damages.

Currently there are 3 comments on this Article:

  1. tacitus says:

    Here’s a map of all the work permits issued to Google Fiber in Austin since they started the work:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/dwcx50xavfw4akq/gftmaps.html

    It’s an indication of the extent of the work going on to wire Austin up to Google FIber (and they haven’t even started at the north end of the city yet), so it’s not surprising when not everything goes according to plan.

    That said, there’s no excuse for sloppy workmanship and I hope all those adversely affected are fully compensated for the damage caused to them.

    Of course, it would be far better if municipalities built and maintained a single unified communications infrastructure and then allowed the ISPs and telcos to pay to compete for customers over it, thus providing a real choice between providers, but I guess that’s highly unlikely to happen in this country any time soon.

  2. James R Curry says:

    They’ve damaged some of the landscaping in our neighbourhood that the HOA now has to arrange to repair. The contractor is covering the costs.

    Nevertheless, I still can’t wait to give TWC the boot.

  3. Dawson says:

    I couldn’t say it better than that newspaper commenter in the article. Austinites are f-ing whining bitches. And not because of the Californians among us. It’s home-grown southern-fried entitlement. I’ll just repeat what I commented on el reg last month:

    “I’m a long-term Austin citizen with Google Fiber partly installed (the fiber’s not live yet, so they haven’t brought the router out). While I see clues here and there that the subcontractors doing various legwork and digging are a bit detached from the smiley-face Google Fiber cheerleaders, they’ve been very helpful and personable for us.

    My experience with Texans, Austinites, and particularly with my south side neighbors compels me to disclose that no-one loves a shark frenzy like this mob. You simply would not believe what kinds of things they whip into some sort of social or safety crisis. Picture a city packed solid with small-town busybodies. Once a target has been selected, everyone jumps in and tries to tear a hunk of flesh out for themselves. No-one is ever *for* anything; they’re always just opposed to something.

    Google Fiber is doing a fine job, though they do seem to be about 1-1.5 years behind schedule, heh. I credit the delay with them moving with necessary diligence. My only complaint is that they chose the deplorable “teleNetwork” call center to serve as their local customer service. I worked for them at one time.”

    And I begrudge GF for literally giving me nothing to blog about, so I let dawsonfiberhood.blogspot.com go zombie.

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