Google Fiber has been having troubles galore these past few weeks, but finally a bit of good news has made the headlines. On Tuesday, September 6, Google received preliminary approval from the Metro Council in Nashville, where members voted 32-7 in favor of approving Google’s “one touch make ready” proposal to roll out fiber services in the city.
The proposal essentially involves using existing utility poles to install its fiber network that will eventually carry internet connectivity to Nashville residents at speeds approaching 1Gbps – more than 65 times faster than the national average of 15.3 Mbps for broadband connections.
The proposal has one more step of approval to go through in December, but the bill’s co-sponsors are confident it will invigorate the telecom industry in the city, as voiced by Councilman Jeremy Elrod and reported in The Tennessean:
“This is an extremely big step forward, an extremely big net positive for Nashville, for internet competition. It increases competition, increases telecom and internet investment for we as a city and our citizens as a whole.”
If approved, the proposed “one touch make ready” project will let Google deploy its own contractors to move lines and make way for its own fiber cables. That’s something that they would have otherwise had to wait for AT&T and Comcast to do.
So obviously, AT&T immediately jumped into the fray stating that Google often provides wrong information about where it wants to attach its own hardware and cabling. The incident is in line with AT&T’s sentiments around Google’s efforts to challenge the telecom giant in its own turf. Here’s the article we wrote about that:
AT&T is in an ongoing tussle with Google about fiber internet because it knows full well that this is a highly capital-intensive industry. As reported in the article linked above, AT&T’s VP for federal regulatory issues Joan Marsh made some scathing comments about the tech giant in a recent blog post. The fight apparently continues in Tennessee with Joelle Phillips, president of AT&T Tennessee, now taking the baton and talking about the information Google provides about facilities placement on existing utility poles:
“I am seeing many of those that have errors in them that would be corrected so it’s really not so much that they would hire bad contractors but that they might give them bad instructions.”
Though he went a little easier on Google than Marsh did in her blog post, the same resentment is undeniably there.
But there’s a good reason for that. Google Fiber is now cutting down its staff to about 50%, and with it might come a severe budget crunch as well. But if Google Fiber’s wireless tests prove successful, they can deploy more connections at a faster rate and for much cheaper than ever before.
Even though that’s not going to happen in the immediate future, it is a clear danger to AT&T’s efforts around wireline fiber connections from its GigaPower division that has already started rolling out to nearly three dozen cities across the United States.
So the resentment is understandable, but at least Google can claim to the main reason behind players like AT&T and Comcast being goaded into launching their fiber internet services.
Google is close to approval in Tennessee, and this will give them the confidence they need to continue with the project – albeit with fewer people and a much lower budget, more likely than not.
Thanks for reading our work! If you’re reading this on Apple News, please favorite the 1RedDrop channel (next to our logo) to add us to your news feed, or Like our page on Facebook. Please bookmark our site for more insightful articles on current and future technologies that are changing our lives.