Google Fiber Sees Cup Half-Full If FCC Enacts Title II For Net Neutrality

Business / Tech

While the Comcasts and Verizons of the world are busy thinking that Net Neutrality, and the possibility of the Title II designation specifically, will clearly be the end of the Internet, Google Fiber is taking a much more positive (and realistic, honestly) approach to the whole discussion.  In a recent public letter to the FCC, Google’s director of communications law Austin Schlick painted a much rosier picture if the FCC decides to enact Title II on Internet providers.

As a brief refresher, Title II would designate Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) as common carriers, meaning they would fall under the regulation of the FCC.  While some ISP’s see this as a threat to their ability to gouge punish innovate for consumers, most consumers who have been following see Title II as exactly what is needed to prevent those same ISP’s from gouging and punishing their customers and competitors.

Schlick’s letter to the FCC pointed out what may be the best case scenario for Google Fiber if Title II comes into effect – Utility poles.  You might be thinking to yourself, “What the heck do utility poles have to do with Net Neutrality?” but it could honestly be exactly what is needed to spur innovation and competition in a market that is largely controlled by a few area monopolies.  The Wall Street Journal breaks down why these utility poles are so important:

But in a letter Tuesday to the FCC, Google’s director of communications law Austin Schlick highlighted a potential positive for the company if Title II kicks in. As a regulated telecom service, Google Fiber would get access to utility poles and other essential infrastructure owned by utilities. The FCC should make sure this happens because it would promote competition and spur more investment and deployment of broadband internet service, Schlick argued.

Cable and telecom companies, like Comcast CMCSA 0.00% and AT&T T 0.00%, have long had the right to access utility poles and other important infrastructure, such as ducts, conduits and rights of way, he noted. Google Fiber, which competes against these companies, has not had this right and the service has had trouble getting access to some poles as it builds out its fiber-optic network to homes.

In fact, they go on to explain that simply allowing Google Fiber to utilize utility poles could cut the costs of installation of Google Fiber services significantly over their current processes of digging trenches and running fiber cables underground.

Honestly, I’m for just about anything that will get Google Fiber to my home as quickly as possible.  Do you agree that this sort of access could really spur competition and innovation by ISP’s?  Let us know in the comments or on your favorite social media site.

  Source: Wall Street Journal
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