The emergence of the Internet revolutionized the way individuals communicate around the world. The development of this technology began in the 1960s and continues to advance by increasing the speed of data transmission over fiber optic networks.
As the seventh largest city in the United States, San Antonio has been embracing the digital revolution and is fast emerging as a leader in the 21st century economy. Our focus on creating affordable access choices for every resident while improving broadband speeds has been a City priority for years. The City invested in a government fiber network and has spent a lot of time partnering with providers to establish franchise agreements, fiber optic right-of-way agreements, and land lease agreements.
San Antonio is working diligently with broadband providers to transform our city, and become a community where all our residents are connected with access to ultra-high-speed Internet. The momentum that the Alamo City has established toward digital advancement has encouraged existing and emerging tech companies to continue investing in San Antonio through job creation and educational opportunities that will inspire the City’s next generation of innovators.
The City of San Antonio’s Public Works Department (PWD), in collaboration with the Information and Technology Services department (ITSD), has assembled a Fiber Deployment Management Team that works closely with Fiber providers to ensure that the deployment is well managed with the least impact to the community. The team ensures that there is ample notification and communication with the community impacted by these agencies. The construction related to fiber build-outs can have significant impact to residents; therefore the Fiber Deployment Team will work with broadband providers to develop communication strategies that inform residents of the construction taking place in and around their neighborhoods, manage/provide right of way inspections, and review alternative construction methods to reduce existing utility impacts.
San Antonio residents, neighborhoods and businesses will benefit greatly from becoming a Gigabit community. As a result of the capabilities created by this technology, partnerships between the private and public sectors, can leverage this technology to ensure that San Antonio is a city of opportunity and prosperity by building infrastructure, improving service, and expanding access to residents city-wide.
What to Expect
During the next few years, the City of San Antonio is projecting a significant amount of construction activity related to fiber deployment. This infrastructure will provide residents with options for ultra-fast Internet connections, highest quality video/TV and telephone services as well as other additional services. As of today, there are already more than one hundred crews working for various companies involved in this effort. Here is what you can expect to see:
- Markings - Blue, purple, green, orange, yellow, white and/or pink paint markings will be sprayed on the ground several weeks before construction. The paint tells contractors where existing underground utility lines are so that they can be avoided when digging. The paint usually disappears in a few weeks. For additional details regarding utility locates please visit the Texas811 website.
- Contractors - The Fiber Companies will use contractors and their sub-contractors to complete the infrastructure installation. Most companies provide informational door hangers in advance of their work. Sub-contractor vehicles and equipment may not be marked with the contracting company’s name, but when asked, all workers should be able to identify the contracting company. Time Warner Cable vehicles will be marked with the company name.
- Rights-of-way - A permit governs work on public streets or in rights-of-way. Permits are issued by the City of San Antonio's Public Works Department (PWD) – Right of Way Division. A public right-of-way area is designated between most streets and the adjacent private property. Service providers are allowed by law to place fiber, water, sewer, and electrical lines in the right-of-way. Contractors should receive permission from property owners before working on private property.
- Time of Day - In accordance with City Ordinance 93319, work may be completed during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. In the event work requires a lane or street obstruction, no work will be permitted 7:00-9:00 a.m. or 4:00-6:00 p.m. Permission to work outside this schedule may be granted on a case-by-case basis. This schedule does not apply to any emergency repairs. You should not be bothered by noise in your home or business outside of these times, although construction noise can be as loud as necessary during permitted times. For any work in the Central Business District CBD or highly traveled corridors, the city will evaluate the project for possible work at night.
- Construction Duration - We do not have a specific time frame for construction because the amount of time it will take varies greatly based on a variety of factors. Unforeseen issues such as weather, access, and equipment malfunctions can also affect the timeline. Companies are not required by law to coordinate construction activities or co-locate their infrastructure, which means that even after one company is finished and the property is restored, other companies can come through the same area and start the process, anew.
- After Construction - The construction area will be restored within a few days after construction is complete. The contractors will restore the right of way to as good or better than condition prior to excavation. Construction in your area does not mean that new or improved service will be available to you soon. It could be many months or never at all. Companies are not required by state law to serve every property in San Antonio.