Google Fiber Runs Face First Into Bureaucracy
As Unfounded Rumor of Surewest Acquisition Swirls
Last week we noted that Google's effort to deploy 1 Gbps fiber in Kansas City had run face first into some bureaucracy
, with delays being caused over debate about pole fiber connection rates and the physical placement of lines. Google apparently believed their brand name would be enough to help them float over and above the annoying red tape hurdles faced by all ISPs. There's a few unsubstantiated rumors that have surfaced since
, suggesting that Google could acquire SureWest to help move things along. As Benoit Felten over at Fiber Revolution notes, such a deal would be rather unlikely:
The original lofty goals of the Google Fiber initiative have already been considerably watered down, and the "blueprint" nature of the project is already seriously in question, but if Google needs to buy an existing and successful business to achieve its goals, not only is it admitting failure, it's throwing out the window any pretense that their model is replicable and that other municipals could do what they're doing.
The rumor was likely started to pump stock, and the delay likely isn't severe enough to acquire an entire ISP. While Google's schedule has been dented slightly, the original story
noted that an agreement with the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities should only be a few weeks out. Google certainly has the money for pole attachment fees (which they apparently felt they should be allowed to bypass), especially given all the free marketing the deal provided. If Kansas City wants to be too
difficult in negotiations, there's a long list of cities clamoring for faster connectivity.