The potential for high-speed internet service just keeps getting better in northeast Johnson County. AT&T is now poised to launch its Gigabit speed service in Roeland Park.
That will match the speed that Google Fiber now offers in the city. AT&T will be playing catch-up to Google, though, since Google has completed its build-out in Roeland Park and is now in the process of connecting customers, Many Roeland Park residents already have the high-speed Google connection running in their homes. The Google build started in the spring of 2014.
The AT&T installation in Roeland Park will be somewhat less intrusive because the majority of the new service will be installed overhead. The intention, AT&T representative Andrew Reed told the Roeland Park City Council this week, is to simply overlay existing service and prevent digging in front yards.
A few Roeland Park homes will be part of a project this summer that is mainly centered in Fairway. Service to Fairway and Prairie Village was previously announced by AT&T. Another 400 will be added this fall, Reed said, with the need for only four hand holes in yards.
The issue of the hand holes or vaults did create a bit of stir at the council meeting. Google Fiber buried many of its vaults at the city’s request, but AT&T said it cannot bury the vaults because it would mean digging up the yard each time new customers might be added to that neighborhood.
Mayor Joel Marquardt pointed to a photo of a 36-inch concrete cover and noted that it could end up in someone’s yard. “If I was a homeowner and had that in my yard, I would be very upset,” Marquardt said. Marquardt said he wants to see AT&T service in the city, but hopes they will address some issues that would affect homeowners.
Public Works Director Jose Leon said ATT&T has not filed for a permit to work in the public right-of-way yet and had agreed to work with the city on the vaults, which are flush to the ground. As long as the company complies with the ROW ordinance, it can have access to install service.
Reed said it will take two years for the complete build out of Roeland Park to be completed.