Google recently announced plans to consider rolling out Google Fiber in Louisville, Kentucky. The rollout would have been held up for a few months, had the Louisville Metro Council not passed an ordinance that shortened the time needed for a competitive internet service to access the city’s utility poles. The new ordinance shortened the necessary time from six months to just 30 days, allowing Google Fiber to begin rolling out in a much more timely manner.
The passage of the ordinance, however, has sparked some trouble for the city. AT&T, which owns about 40 percent of Louisville’s utility poles, is filing a lawsuit against the city for the passage of the ordinance. AT&T claims that the city doesn’t have the rights to decide who can use AT&T’s poles. Check out the quote from the company below.
Louisville Metro Council's recently passed 'One Touch Make Ready' Ordinance is invalid, as the city has no jurisdiction under federal or state law to regulate pole attachments. We have filed an action to challenge the ordinance as unlawful. Google can attach to AT&T's poles once it enters into AT&T's standard Commercial Licensing Agreement, as it has in other cities. This lawsuit is not about Google. It's about the Louisville Metro Council exceeding its authority.AT&T
AT&T doesn’t seem to blocking Google Fiber simply to block it. Instead, the company has a legitimate argument about making sure that the correct and legal process is followed. That being said, the suit will likely delay the rollout of Google Fiber, with the possibility that Google may even abort its plans to bring Google Fiber to Louisville. We’ll have to wait and see how it all turns out.