A few weeks back we noted how Google's franchise deal with Kansas City for Google Fiber was a particularly sweet arrangement
. Not only does the deal allow Google to walk away from the build in two years if things aren't going well, it allows Google the right to cherry pick markets as they see fit without penalty. To have their city chosen Kansas City was willing to make these concessions, which tells you everything you need to know about how KC (and the thousands of applying cities not selected) felt about the quality of existing services.
Now, unsurprisingly, the same regional incumbent ISPs responsible for Google Fiber's creation want some of the perks Google has been receiving. According to the Wall Street Journal
, both AT&T and Time Warner Cable have approached Kansas City about getting the same perks, and appear ready to call out the waaaaaaambulance if they don't receive them:
"There are certain portions of the agreement between Google and Kansas City, Kan., that put them at a competitive advantage compared with not just us but also the other competitors in the field," said Alex Dudley, a Time Warner Cable spokesman. "We're happy to compete with Google, but we'd just like an even playing field." AT&T declined to comment on any negotiations but said, "It's time to modernize our industry's rules and regulations
so all consumers benefit from fair and equal competition."
If you've watched both companies' behavior over the years, you know the very last thing either wants is "fair and equal competition," and both carriers are notably timid when it comes to serious next-gen deployments. Time Warner Cable has drastically lagged behind in their "surgical" deployment of DOCSIS 3.0 upgrades, and in addition to choosing FTTN over FTTH, AT&T intends to leave tens of millions of DSL users on older DSL technology -- indefinitely.
Google Fiber exists
because companies like AT&T and Time Warner Cable failed to provide the kind of connectivity consumers want; despite adequate resources. While it would be only fair for these companies to receive equal favoritism if they're willing to deploy comparable services, you can be fairly sure that both companies lawyers and lobbyists are trying to get the same perks Google's getting -- without
having to deploy cutting edge symmetrical 1 Gbps services.