Google Fiber is currently under fire in Louisville, Kentucky, one of the cities under consideration for Fiber expansion. Its competitor, AT&T, filed a federal lawsuit claiming that Louisville’s city government has “no jurisdiction to regulate pole attachments.”
AT&T says this lawsuit has nothing to do with Google, but that the Louisville city government is exceeding its authority:
“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 told a federal judge that the only two commissions that have the authority to regulate poles is Kentucky Public Service Commission and the Federal Communications Commission. But, as DSLReports points out, AT&T has spent much of its time in court in the past arguing that the FCC has no authority to regulate broadband.
There’s no telling at this point which side is most likely to win this case. But one thing’s for certain: Google Fiber will be met with quite a delay in Louisville, Kentucky thanks to this new litigation from AT&T. Meanwhile, Google is looking to light up Huntsville, Alabama with Fiber by mid-2017.
You can find the full lawsuit PDF, titled BellSouth Telecommunications LLC vs. Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government, here.
It’ll be interesting to see how this lawsuit plays out. If AT&T wins, it could set a precedent for how Google Fiber has to come about nation-wide (i.e. Google buying into AT&T’s standard Commercial Licensing Agreement in order to provide Fiber).