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Gigabit Squared No Longer Exists, Faces Seattle Suit
by Karl Bode 08:33AM Monday Aug 04 2014 Tipped by telcodad See Profile
After making a lot of noise and getting a lot of press last year about their ability to help cities improve penetration of 1 Gbps connections, Gigabit Squared turned out to be a bit of a pipe dream in Seattle. The firm's partnership with Seattle -- and in turn their effort to build a 1 Gbps fiber network -- went up in smoke after the city complained that GigaBit Squared owed the city $52,250 but hadn't managed to actually do much of any work.

Similar problems plagued the organization's equally over-hyped efforts in Chicago, resulting in the resignation of at least one high-level Gigabit Squared executive. Now Seattle has moved forward with a lawsuit against GigaBit Squared, during which it has been revealed that the company no longer technically even exists:
quote:
The lawsuit indicates that Gigabit Squared has dissolved and is no longer a company. Co-founder and President Mark Ansboury resigned from the company in January amid the controversy over the failed deal with Seattle. The city is seeking $52,250 in unpaid bills for research and reports city employees put together, plus related legal fees.
Gigabit Squared made one payment of $2,500 in November 2013 on the original balance of $54,750, but has not made further payments. The city billed Gigabit Squared in July 2013.
The city of Seattle continues to suggest they're not ruling out building their own network if incumbent operators CenturyLink and Comcast can't improve service -- though hopefully next time they'll select a more competent business partner.

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ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Surprise !

Obviously theres boatloads of money to be made when there are already 2, or 3 independant ISP's in a major city. :rolleyes:
ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH

Re: Surprise !

Agreed! It only works in areas where money is plentiful. Like Some areas of Cleveland where they have TWC, U-Verse, WOW and even some smaller burbs have a 4th company to choose from. But when income is a half million+ per household, you know the area has money to support those extra companies.

PlusOne

@66.249.83.x

1 recommendation

said by ITALIAN926:

Obviously theres boatloads of money to be made when there are already 2, or 3 independant ISP's in a major city. :rolleyes:

Stories like this are prime evidence for state legislators who want to put controls on municipalities looking to build their own broadband networks. City incompetence in managing broadband builds is a legitimate worry.
asdfdfdfdfdf
Premium
join:2012-05-09
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..

3 recommendations

Re: Surprise !

Why is this a story of city incompetence and not a story of the failure of the private market?
The city didn't fail. Gigabit square, a development corporation out of ohio, failed to come up with the needed financing.
The deal was that gigabit seattle(as the partnership with gigabit sqared in seattle was called) would own and operate the network. The city was not putting money into the project but the project was leasing the city's fiber network and then building out fiber to multi family dwellings and businesses in key neighborhoods, supplemented by a wireless cloud. The city's part was already done and done properly. It already had a fiber network with excess capacity that it was leasing to private interests. The city wasn't building out the network and the city wasn't funding it. This is more a story about how the fixation with privatizing everything has failed. We have a history, in this country, of taxpayer funded and publicly owned universally available infrastructure(water, roads, etc.) We get these public/private partnerships because, in this right wing age, we can't get public projects off the ground. It is not a failure of government. It is a destructive nihilistic ideology which forces increasingly byzantine approaches to getting anything done.

CountyChic

@69.35.201.x

Re: Surprise !

A thousand times, Amen.

So tired of the overused political pabulum of "public-private partnerships" which often end up significantly disappointing one or both partners, and overall with suboptimal results.
dfxmatt

join:2007-08-21
Evanston, IL

1 recommendation

Not really, since it didn't go forward. It'd be different if it was implemented poorly AND failed. It's another when it doesn't even get to that point. Bad city judgment for vendor selection does not mean cities shouldn't be able to implement their own networks, as those are separate issues.

Packeteers
Premium
join:2005-06-18
Forest Hills, NY
kudos:1

incompetent city

the city employees should be brought to task for exposing taxpayers to a fraudulent or ill prepared vendor.
ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH

Re: incompetent city

Cities are doing this for other providers as well, but are doing it for FREE in hopes of GF moving in. So what's the difference? Spend the money in hopes GF moves in or spend the money and new provider never ever moves in, because they close. Or spend the money on a muni network and let the tax payers still are on the hook.

Either way, the city's tax payers pay.

mjevans1983

@71.217.117.x

Re: incompetent city

There are two categories of things Google Fiber is asking for on it's checklist:

Category A: Accurate modern documentation about a city's layout, zoning, and utility routes. (So they know the utility corridors and also so they can avoid trenching through someone else's line.)

Category B: Some (legal) recognition that /someone/ will need to do this eventually and that any flaw in the above provided data / lack of 'yes, you will allow infrastructure through that landscaping you built on city buffer land' is a liability the city has created and thus should assume; instead of Google or some other company.

These are both things a given city/area really should have been doing anyway.
dubfan

join:2010-11-09
Seattle, WA
If I didn't know you weren't from Seattle, I'd think you were joking. You're talking about a city whose elected attorney thinks it's cool to bring weed to work, and who thinks it's super progressive to allow street kids to get drunk and high in city parks and harass tourists and taxpayers.
josephf

join:2009-04-26
Reviews:
·VoicePulse

How do you sue a non-existent entity?

And who exactly will pay, even if they are awarded a judgement, considering the dissolved entity no longer exists and no longer has any funds?

In fact, who will even respond to the lawsuit? The original article states that Gigabit has missed the court deadline to file a response. Duh. Of course. They have no employees anymore, so how could they possibly respond? How could they even have been served??
ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH

Re: How do you sue a non-existent entity?

You can still be served, weather it will go through is another question. The court would have to serve or try to serve them but if nobody signed for any court docs then the case would be dismissed. But when the company no longer exists, then nobody is going to even pay. Again a city spending money that should have been put in a fire truck or another actual emergency item.

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

Re: How do you sue a non-existent entity?

Sometimes you just have to know when to cut your losses and move on. I'm sure someone at City Hall is going to be happy to piss away even more tax payer funds to go after nothing. Unless there are some personal assets on the line just drop it.
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.

RWSI

join:2012-11-27
Albuquerque, NM

Comcast ?

Comcast is spending all extra funds building out Albuquerque,NM where there are no customers! No wonder they suck in Seattle.
mlcarson

join:2001-09-20
Los Alamos, NM

Re: Comcast ?

Since there's only Centurylink as an alternative in ABQ -- I'm glad they're doing it.

RWSI

join:2012-11-27
Albuquerque, NM

Re: Comcast ?

CL is not the only alternate choice here. There is at least a dozen alternate providers doing business in our market, RWSI is one of these competitors. Comcast is collecting at least $200.00 to $400.00 per customer under contract per month. Locked and screwed.

WiFiguru
To infinity... and beyond
Premium
join:2005-06-21
Irvine, CA

Re: Comcast ?

RWSI is wireless... not an exact competitor to wireline.

RWSI

join:2012-11-27
Albuquerque, NM

Re: Comcast ?

Yes not wireline but still a competitor. We stay up when wireline fails. Wireline fails here alot!!!!

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

Time after time...

...so city owned broadband is ONCE again moved to the back burner because THE New Monorail plan is back.
Yup that's right, once again ignoring the millions wasted on the last pre-mature ejaculation over a new monorail and fresh out of bad broadband plans, the city of seattle can't find a big enough hole to bury the tax money they don't have.
Beck38

join:2014-05-12
Mukilteo, WA
Reviews:
·Comcast

Little town of Mt. Vernon, WA suceeding where Big Seattle multi-fails

I had a guy who worked on the Seattle Muni build (and the state highway traffic cam builds some 20 years ago) work under me on the last submarine project I did, and just today I find that the little town of Mt. Vernon WA (some 60+ miles north of Seattle between Everett and Bellingham), has a muni-fiber build, following the same basic idea behind the PUD fiber in central Washington (Chelan and other PUD's).

It's just starting up it's roll-out, and FTTH/FTTP is just geting started, but the basic plant it in place, and there are tons of feeder lines due to the wealth of Seattle to Vancouver BC fiber lines that go up I5 right through town (a lot of which I did some of the engineering on 10-15 years ago).

I'll be looking into this, as the COL is low there, and I'm itching still to lower my retirement costs for the next 20+ years of (supposed!) lifespan, without continuing to throw money at Comcast internet or moving to even higher cost neighborhoods that have Frontier FIOS.