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Google Fiber put on hold in Overland Park

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OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

Google Fiber continues to expand to neighborhoods, throughout the metro, but one area of town may have a long wait ahead of them.

Questions from city council members in Overland Park turned what they expected to be a short-term delay into an indefinite one and some folks in town aren't happy they'll be seeing fiber sprouting up just about everywhere, but in their area.

It seems like everywhere in the Kansas City metro Google Fiber trucks are out and about, hooking up homes in the first round of connections.

"We're really excited to get high-speed Internet, and that we were chosen to be the trial community," said Stephanie Kovar, a Kansas City, MO, resident.

But Google Fiber has delayed its agreement with Overland Park indefinitely.

"It's disappointing because it would have been nice to have in the schools and the libraries and stuff. I know that the Internet is really spotty at the school," said Katie Lehn, an Overland Park mother.

The delay stems from a mid-September city council meeting when a city spokesman said council members first saw the proposed agreement for Google Fiber to move in. One councilman has questions about the city's financial and legal liability in case of problems with the installation.

The result was that both sides agreed to hold off until the October council meeting to sign. In the meantime, the city said they quickly resolved any of its concerns.

"The agreements are fine, they're ready to go when Google is ready to move forward," said Sean Reilly, a spokesperson for Overland Park.

But then, at last week's council meeting, Google asked for an indefinite delay. They explained their decision in a statement.

"Building Fiber is complicated and we have very tight time windows for our construction work. We've worked with Overland Park for a number of months now, and we need to refocus our energy and resources on engineering, designing, and building a new fiber network for the communities who are waiting for Fiber."

But Google did say they plan to come back to the table with Overland Park, there's just no saying when.

"That's a really big bummer, it's too bad they couldn't get their act together," Lehn said.

"We understand everybody's eagerness and we are ready to sign when Google's ready to move forward," Reilly said.

With the second biggest population in the metro in Overland Park, and a wealthy one at that, Google Fiber stands to gain by connecting there. But a Google spokesperson said Friday, more importantly, Overland Park residents have shown they want the service, so Google Fiber will be back at some point.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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