As the year draws to a close, the Texas Public Radio digital team is taking a look back at the most read — and listened to — stories of 2017. And overwhelmingly, through its clicks, our audience was interested in two subjects: Google Fiber and medical marijuana.
2016 ended with the future of Google Fiber in doubt. Expansion beyond the eight original sites was halted. The project’s CEO Craig Barratt left the company. And just when construction of the fiber optic network was starting to ramp up in the Alamo City, everything ground to a halt right at the start of the new year.
Now, here’s a look back at the Google Fiber saga and its eventual arrival in the Alamo City.
The Google Fiber series is part of TPR’s best of 2017.
The first Google Fiber hut began construction in July 2016, but in 2017 construction was halted after residents complained about the size of the huts used to house the network infrastructure.
While 17 Google Fiber huts were proposed, after completing just two debate began on the remaining 15 locations. Complaints ranged from the lot size, which are 50 feet by 30 feet, to how large it loomed in Haskin Park — the first site — on the city’s Northeast Side. Discussion continued on which locations were acceptable to resume construction.
And even after construction was halted for nearly a month, city officials were still uncertain when activity would