Ever since Google began offering their 1 Gbps service to customers in a variety of cities, AT&T has been panicking to somehow gain control of the PR battle. Note, I said PR battle and not battle to win customers back with improved service.
As I have written about a number of times, AT&T has expanded their 1 Gbps service (GigaPower) to virtually nobody outside of extremely small areas that are mostly pre-wired for the service. That hasn’t stopped AT&T from celebrating such accomplishments with ribbon cutting ceremonies and numerous PR releases discussing how great AT&T is to these cities. Meanwhile, the cities have no actual access to the service.
In some cases, AT&T has even tried to get Google kicked out of AT&T’s service areas on technical grounds. Now, AT&T is at the technical arguments yet again. This time in Jacksonville, Florida where AT&T is protesting Google Fiber’s recent announcement of likely expansion in the area.
In October, “Jacksonville public officials trumpeted Google” for announcing that they would begin negotiations with the city for expansion of their Fiber service. After months of negotiations, the city and Google have agreed to pretty much everything. But one issue remains….Google is running up against AT&T and Comcast with access to city poles.
Google asked and received permission from the city to “move other carriers wires and facilities within the communications space on a pole in the event that they must install a new pole due to an overload of an existing pole or due to other issues such as the other carrier having installed their lines incorrectly, or other issue.” (per Florida Politics)
Essentially, Google is asking permission to move wires in the case of an emergency or in case previous people didn’t install their wires correctly or efficiently. Anyone want to take a guess who has an issue with this?
This is something we have been attempting to get into all the pole attachment agreements for a number of years, but have been blocked by one vendor in particular (AT&T), who has claimed that only their CWA union people are allowed to move their lines/equipment. Google claims this has been a real issue with AT&T in other jurisdictions. – Florida Politics
The city meanwhile is left in flux as they have publicly stated that they are “renegotiating” with AT&T and Comcast but “are not sure if they will accept our stated position.”