Residential Work Underway in Google Fiber Project

Monday, Nov. 13, 2023
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Updated at 2:10 p.m. on Nov. 22, 2023: Updated to reflect that Google Fiber contractors have begun to work in neighborhoods.

Google Fiber crews have moved off main streets and into neighborhoods to place fiber closer to households. 

Residential work began within town limits in November. 

Google Fiber is building a fiber-optic network in and around Hillsborough to provide access to its gigabit internet plans. With encroachment agreements from the state and town, the company has permission to work in rights of way in Hillsborough. 

Most of the company’s work to this point has been laying the backbone lines that will serve as the connection point to neighborhoods. These lines have tended to avoid residential streets. The company’s subcontractors will now work on installing lines that will service individual addresses. This work requires fiber crews to be much closer to residences, with crossings under driveways and through the front of yards in the right of way. 

What you need to know 

Private project — This is a private project owned and operated by Google Fiber and its subcontractors. The town will be responsible for inspecting the work in public rights of way to ensure acceptable restoration. Any activity on privately owned property requires approval of the property owner. This includes townhouse, condominium and apartment complexes. 

Rights of way — A right of way typically includes the area from the street toward a home for about 8 feet but can vary and be greater. Utility companies have the legal right to operate within the rights of way of the town and the North Carolina Department of Transportation. 

Fiber vaults — Periodic utility vaults will be installed in the right of way. Smaller plastic fiber vaults will be installed on property lines for individual service, similar in location to phone and cable provider boxes. The vaults are like water meter boxes in appearance and will be placed at the same grade as the right of way. 

Excavation — The company uses shallow, narrow trenching and boring to minimize damage to tree roots. Boring will be used if driveways need to be crossed. 

Notification and paint markings — The company’s subcontractors will provide notification of work in an area through door hangers. Paint markings will be sprayed on the ground before construction and typically disappear in a few weeks. The paint indicates the location of existing underground utility lines so those lines can be avoided when digging.  

Construction hours and site restoration — Work typically will occur from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. In most cases and weather permitting, private property and public rights of way should be restored to original condition within three to five business days once construction in an area is complete. 

Got questions? 

For more details, see FAQ: Gigabit Fiber Construction on the town website. 

If you have questions or concerns about the project, contact Google Fiber by: 

Hillsborough residents and property owners who have attempted to resolve an issue through Google Fiber’s official channels and are not satisfied with the response may contact Hillsborough Civil Engineering Technician Tyler Freeman by email or 919-296-9639.