back to article Louisville says yes to Google Fiber. Funny story: AT&T, TWC didn't want that to happen

The city of Louisville, Kentucky, has approved a plan to bring Google Fiber service to residents and businesses. The Louisville Courier-Journal reports the US city's Metro Council voted unanimously in favor of an ordinance granting Google and other high-speed carriers access to city-owned utility poles. The move provides …

  1. phil dude
    Megaphone

    Good.

    Now let's see if our local politicians get a notice.

    I might have to write a letter...

    P.

    1. Randy Hudson

      Re: Good.

      Google fiber came to our neighborhood a few months ago. The installers did cut both the cable lines and AT&T fiber. Sidewalks were dug up for a month to repair.

      1. phil dude
        Coat

        Re: Good.

        Well I'm still getting twice weekly "High Speed (1.5Mbs) Internet !!!!!!!!!!" offers from ATT. </miffed>

        See, they KNOW I have DSL via a competitor, and so they pitch the prices to initially lower (put them out of business) and then higher (now they have you hooked).

        Hence, until we get Google Fiber to announce, we have laughable duopoly of ATT and Comcast, both promising the Earth and delivering derisable services.

        It would help if bandwidth could be unbundled from digital services (e.g. movies, audio etc..).

        The conflict of interest to screw up net neutrality (slow competitor, bless their own) and impose bandwidth caps (except for their service), and insist 1.5Mbs is "fast enough".

        The point about 1Gb/s , is not that you may EVER need it, but it enables future of much great service distribution.

        Bandwidth caps are the rusty bearings on this wagon, heading west on the internet highway..

        P.

    2. FreemonSandlewould

      Re: Good.

      Why would anyone want to leave ComCast?

      How ( literally ) can you leave ComCast? I mean that's impossible right?

  2. cyber7

    Is our equipment in your back yard?

    Considering Comcast/TW use subcontractors that still don't have a clue where their equipment is every time they visit, I wouldn't stand too tall claiming to be concerned about their cabling. Especially considering they do such a cra ptastic job at burying their home bound cables. Then again, maybe they know precisely what level of monkeys they have working for them, and have a valid concern...

  3. ITS Retired
    Holmes

    When Google Fiber came to Kansas City,

    AT&T started offering higher speeds and lower prices, as did the other Internet providers around here. The same goes for the TV offerings too. Amazing what actual competition can do for the customer.

  4. Tromos

    "TWC supports the city's goal to streamline access in order to expand broadband service"

    Ooh look! His nose is growing longer!!

  5. User McUser
    Go

    Oh FFS...

    overzealous installers run the risk of damaging TWC's data lines when laying the new cables.

    Really Time Warner? *That's* your fake reason?

    I'll say this - when a regional FTTP company started installing fiber in my subdivision, I noticed that my existing Comcast service mysteriously started working better. I dumped them like a hot rock anyway (cause fuck 'em) but it is amazing what even the prospect of a little competition can do. Now I get twice the speed for basically the same price I had been paying.

    1. Graham Marsden
      Pirate

      Re: Oh FFS...

      "Fake reason"?

      "Oh dear, your existing service has just had a mysterious outage (which was in no way caused by someone putting a digger bucket through a major connector). Why not swap to our brand new shiny cable service...?" - BIfH

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh FFS...

      but it is amazing what even the prospect of a little competition can do. Now I get twice the speed for basically the same price I had been paying.

      Up to a point yes. But consider that they may be simply going all out to ensure that Google's Louisville plans don't meet the investment case that Google want. If Google don't get the number of subscribers the plan needs (or they get the numbers, but not the average revenues due to TWC discounting their plans), then the scheme won't get fully built out, which protects some of TWC's Louisville revenues, and there's a good chance that Google won't repeat the idea elsewhere.

      So in the grander scheme of things, TWC could well be far better served by taking a big hit for a few years on their Louisville network. If Google pack up and leave, TWC can return to fleecing customers like the good old days, if Google don't leave, Louisville remains an enduring battleground where TWC have to prove that there's no money to be made by entrants laying new infrastructure.

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: Oh FFS...

        Even if Google were to leave after a period and TWC resumes monopolistic price gouging, the people of Louisville will be be better off for having paid lower prices and received better service while there we competition. Elsewhere, people who did not benefit, and will not if Google becomes discouraged and abandons the business, will be no worse off. The notion that TWC will be better off for having had competition is pretty much rubbish, since the competition will have reduced their net while it existed, and its end will not enable them to raise prices higher than they could have if it never occurred.

      2. Youngone Silver badge

        Re: Oh FFS...

        @Ledswinger

        The incumbents are not keen on competition, even for a short period of time, and lower profits for even a few years are not what they want.

        Pricing Google out of the market is a strategy they could employ, but it's far more cost effective to bribe the State level politicians to pass some phoney legislation to prevent competition.

        Google what happened in Tennesee when Chattanooga tried to set up municipal broadband.

  6. Ralph B

    Worries

    > worries that the new fiber lines would be laid next to their own lines, and overzealous installers run the risk of damaging TWC's data lines when laying the new cables.

    And, by implication, the TWC spokesman reveals their strategy for dealing with the competition.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Worries

      Isn't there some Law of telcos along the lines of:

      "never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by a telco contractor with a back hoe and inaccurate duct information"

      Telco: your line is down because of contractors cutting it

      Customer: which telco?

      Telco: probably one of our competitors

      Customer: but aren't their services on the other side of the road?

      Telco: yes

      Customer: so it was your contractors that did this?

      Telco: ....

  7. Gray
    Trollface

    A perfectly reasonable assurance ...

    "That's why we're working constructively with the city on reasonable, common-sense amendments to ensure telecommunications providers can extend service quickly across the city."

    PROPOSAL:

    "To safeguard existing cable service lines, new fiber lines installations shall intrude no closer than 50 (fifty) feet from existing cable service lines in any direction."

    That should take care of the competition!

    1. Triggerfish

      Re: A perfectly reasonable assurance ...

      Or you could just do what we have had to do when digging holes, and look at the plans for where everything has been laid. Stuff in the wrong place that gets cut no problem for the diggers problem for whoever did not update the drawings.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    Invisible...um, Hand. Yeah, yeah, that's it...

    AMAZING what can happen with a little ACTUAL Competition! Just looks at the map and you'll find little, if any, overlap between Comcast, Charter, Cox, TWC and Cablevision. Google- FOR ONCE - actually IS living up to its motto of "Do No Evil" which, as the marvellous Isaac Asimov noted, covers inaction as well as action.

    SO. If Competition is the cure all, we are seeking opening bids for a Nation/State level governing entity that can compete with and vie to provide services with the United States Federal Government. Seeing as it has a virtual monopoly here in the U.S. and has done SUCH a shoddy job and all, it would be a nice change to chat up a Minister of Parliament and get a response other than "How much did you give to my re-election committee, again?" I know- perhaps I'm a Dreamer and they're just ALL bad, but what, really, could possibly go wrong? Google Government?! Search States of America?

    Ahhhh, the heady flush of Innovation... it's what this Country is all about!

    1. Sampler

      Re: Invisible...um, Hand. Yeah, yeah, that's it...

      Universal Search of America?

    2. Triggerfish

      Re: Invisible...um, Hand. Yeah, yeah, that's it...

      SO. If Competition is the cure all, we are seeking opening bids for a Nation/State level governing entity that can compete with and vie to provide services with the United States Federal Government.

      Um is that not basically elections?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, well!

    At least AT&T / TWC didn't roll out postmodern "But Muh Net Neutrality" arguments to squash the competition, relying instead on somewhat dated soundbites from the era of the breakup of "Ma Bell". Refreshing!

  10. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    But...

    They are still going to string this up on Poles.

    Saw a new housing development is Kansas last year. All the Phone/cable/internet was being installed via overhead line. Loked Fugly as well.

    Bearing in mind that this place is in 'tornado alley' I thought that this was madness.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But...

      While it seems like burying cables to keep power and Internet after a tornado would be a good idea, it's worth remembering that after an area is hit by a tornado, there generally isn't anybody around to use them.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: But...

        How long does it take to get a Trailer Home trucked in on a low-loader? A few days.

        How long to restore the services that were delivered overhead? Weeks.

        There is a reason that people in that area carry around portable generators in the back of their F-150 Pickups.

  11. Mikel

    "However, it's vital to ensure the protection of TWC customers, including major hospitals, universities and important facilities across Louisville, from ..."

    The trauma induced by gigabit bandwidth at reasonable prices, which has been shown to cause chafing, hairy palms and whiplash.

  12. David Hoffman

    GF has learned that they will catch financial trouble if their workers or their subcontractors damage the equipment of another company. Standard liability rules apply. GF now uses somewhat more planning and training to avoid those types of problems. TWC and AT&T know this.

  13. Jonjonz

    One little clause, and the game is up

    Funny how that clause that gave ATT et al exclusive rights to tack their stuff into our utility poles and sewers is going by the wayside. The whole premise of ATT and buddies was that we pay for the maintnenance of the sewers and poles, and fix them immediately if a problem interferes with their signal, while they get to charge monopoly rates for cable.

    It's time to cut the middle men out and local governments should include basic internet as part of the whole utility package.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    "worries that the new fiber lines would be laid next to their own lines, and overzealous installers"

    TWC is probably worried that the overzealous installers would fix TWC's craptastic service. :)

  15. Herbert Meyer

    details, details

    Unfortunately Louisville / Jefferson county does not have regulatory authority over utility poles, a state board does. So Gov. Bevin gets a chance to extort TWC and AT&T for bribes to block this. He has already killed a Ky Broadband initiative.

    You need an Icon for a politician with his hand out for "Campaign Contributions".

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Competition

    I've done underground for Google in Kansas City. In my area, Google inspectors were out in the field all day. Might as well buy a pressure washer now if you plan on doing any. Locators make mistakes and I did have a few "monkeys". For the most part, people were happy to put up with a few divots in their yards for Google fiber. One of my monkeys did hit a gas line with a breaker bar. That was "interesting". The fire department was onsite in 5 minutes, gas company in ten. I didn't even fire said "monkey".

    I worked in Louisville as a commercial technician for TWC, mostly hooking up phone and internet for businesses. When I was "training" I watched another tech repeatedly tell customers to "get a vendor" to connect their equipment to the modems. For what they're paid by TWC you can't blame them. Made lots of side money but TWC wasn't real happy. You can't have a sub making decent money, it gives the other "monkeys" ideas. As far as TWC underground goes, their subs are way underpaid. Any decent sub should "steer clear". Most do. So you get what you'd expect. I haven't heard of any missiles hitting gas lines yet, but with TWC subs....

    I love competition. It was good for the consumer (and sub) in KC. It could be good for both in Louisville.

    Go Cardinals, I'm ready to burn some more couches. The bourbon is "right good round there", too. Need it this time of year. BTW, never call someone from Louisville a Yankee unless you really want to get in a fist fight. ;-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Competition

      > BTW, never call someone from Louisville a Yankee unless you really want to get in a fist fight. ;-)

      Outside the US we're all Yanks. (But don't tell those pie eaters in Vermont that.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Headmaster

        Re: Competition

        And don't ever tell someone from Louisville that they are from Louisville. Drop the I's, its pronounced Lou-vlle.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Competition

      TWC sub-sub-contractor hit a gas line that blew up a restaurant.

      http://www.kctv5.com/story/24647489/commission-finds-fault-in-mge-reaction-to-plaza-gas-leak

  17. Blake St. Claire

    I wish Google would come to where I live.

    I have both Comcast and Verizon FIOS available. There's absolutely zero competition in terms of price.

    I have broadband-only service contract grandfathered from a reseller back when the law required that unbundled services to be available to resellers. I don't see any way to buy broadband-only service from either company today.

    I've "cut the cord", so I don't need their "phone" service. And I'm not interested in their TV bundles, and neither offers "a la carte" for the TV channels that I'd actually care to watch. (For local channels OTA works just fine.)

    Unfortunately the greater metropolitan area where I live consists of dozens of small towns and Google would have to negotiate with each one to serve the whole area, so it seems unlikely they'll come here any time soon, if ever.

  18. JeffyPoooh
    Pint

    Secret sauce recipe follows...

    If your *telephone* company installs fiber, then they can also begin to compete in the 'Cable TV' market. That's the secret sauce that can make the finances work (correct technology choice is another aspect). There's little incentive for the Cable TV companies to install FTTH. There's every incentive for the telephone company to enter the 'Triple Play' market, including TV service. They can pretty much double their cash flow overnight, by offering TV service. Also, people are willing to pay for improved ISP speed.

    You can disagree and argue if you wish, but the facts are that our street has only a dozen houses on huge multi-acre lots, a mile from anything else, and several miles from the nearest Central Office (telephone building). Here we sit, lakefront forest paradise, with Gb fiber service available to us. We happen to subscribe to a cheaper package because 150 Mbps seems to be fine. For two years already, although the Gb option is more recent.

    Having seen it done first hand, it's tiresome when so many others can't be bothered to follow the example.

    Ref. Bell Aliant FibreOP. There may be other examples.

    What pathetic excuses are left? Any further delay is just plain obstinance and/or 'not invented here'. Or perhaps pure ignorance of the successful examples that are busy rolling out already. Any given telephone company may not have finished yet (of course), but there's zero excuse for not having started already.

  19. Beachrider

    The 95th largest City in the USA...

    Amazing the interest in the 95th largest city in the USA. Imagine what happens in Fayette, KY or Henderson, NV!

  20. MissingSecurity

    So...

    ...make TWC mark their lines?

    Solved that issue, huh.

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