Back in February AT&T sued the City of Louisville in an effort to block slow down the roll out of Google Fiber and other competitors. AT&T was hoping to block a new one touch law that would have made it easy for Google to roll out their fiber on the same poles that AT&T uses. The new one touch law is meant to dramatically reduce the wait times for new companies to get access to run their own wires on utility poles around the city.
AT&T sued claiming that the new rule could result in additional outages caused by untrained techs working on the utility poles. Previously, if a company like Google wanted access to the pole, they needed to wait for each individual ISP to sign off on followed by waiting for them to move their own gear. That process added several additional months, and incumbent ISPs have a reputation for dragging their heels on the equipment moves to make life as difficult as possible for competitors.
Now a Federal Judge has dismissed the case allowing the law to stand and opening the door for companies like Google to rapidly roll out their fiber.
Similar one touch rules have recently been proposed by the FCC in an effort to speed up the roll out of new broadband providers. To make it easier for new networks to get access to run fiber to new cities the FCC has proposed the following:
- Reducing the charges for pole access.
- Establishing a time limit for consideration of pole attachment complaints.
- Setting a known rate formula for access to poles.
- Requiring reciprocal access between providers.
- Speeding up the replacement of copper lines.
- Reducing the requirements to maintain “outdated” equipment or legacy services.
No date has been set for when the FCC will vote on these new rules but it is hoped to happen this year.
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