Battle of the Broadbands!

We’re all familiar with the ongoing battle between AT&T, the experienced telecom company, its upstart competitor, Google Fiber.  Google Fiber has been pushing hard in several of AT&T’s markets to gain access to poles and for the ability to make improvements without the interference of AT&T and other internet providers.  For their efforts, Google Fiber has received some scathing social media comments from AT&T, and the telecom has worked hard to block access to the infrastructure Google needs to expand it’s network.

But Google is working to develop some allies of their own.  In Louisville and Nashville, the city councils have passed “one touch make ready” rules that allow “a single company make all of the necessary wire adjustments on utility poles itself, instead of having to wait for incumbent providers like AT&T and Comcast to send work crews to move their own wires.”

AT&T and it’s allies have argued that there are safety and network reliability reasons that any work should be completed by the incumbents’ own crews (there have been allegations that Google’s workers are not completing upgrades to code), but I suspect that the larger issues are more a concern about the ability to maintain their own workforce and protecting their market share.  The former, not unreasonable, the latter… well, that’s just business.

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