It's Gigabites, the Labor Day Weekend edition. In this week's report, Google Fiber and AT&T battle it out in Nashville; the FCC backs down from the municipal broadband fight; Comcast challenges Verizon in a ranking of broadband speeds; and more.
The One Touch Make Ready ordinance sounds like a no-brainer, but AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and others have argued repeatedly in Nashville and elsewhere that changing the laws for utility pole attachments could lead to network disruptions and outages. Further, AT&T accused Google Fiber in its own blog post this week of seeking favoritism from local governments while incumbent operators have been forced to play by existing rules. AT&T highlighted in the post the amount of money it's spent on network investments nationally -- $140 billion between 2011 and 2015 -- and suggested more or less that Google Fiber stop whining and get to work. (See also Gigabites: Google Gigs Out in Nashville and Gigabites: Google Fiber Fights for Pole Position.)
Google Fiber, AT&T and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) did reportedly try to come to an agreement over the OTMR ordinance in August. However, after a day of negotiations, there was no compromise in sight. Rich Riebeling, Nashville's COO, said: "While there was some positive progress to work on issues related to the speed at which fiber is rolled out in Nashville, there appears to be a philosophical disagreement between the parties about the need for and nature of legislation that would address the make ready process."
However, the slow rate of deployment over the last five years appears to have hit not only new Fiber cities, but also non-profit organizations in existing areas where Google Fiber is doing business. According to a local NBC news report in Austin, multiple non-profits that were promised free gigabit connections back in 2013 are still waiting.
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading