Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

AT&T Gives Up Against Google Fiber

Google resistance is futile.

Seriously, Google it. It's a Borge expression from another universe, but here it means you can't stop Google's fiber network. AT&T tried and failed.

Last year, AT&T sued to keep Google Fiber from getting faster access to utility poles in Kentucky. A judge dismissed the case, and now AT&T is giving up.

Fiber Network

Despite setbacks and legal threats by AT&T to shut it down, Google was determined to pursue its technology. The company continued to construct its fiber optic network in Louisville while the case was pending.

Louisville allowed internet service providers like Google to move wires on utility poles to make room for theirs instead of waiting for other providers like AT&T to send in their own crews to make room. Without the One Touch Make Ready rule, ISPs could not make changes for months.

Judge David Hall dismissed AT&T's legal challenge to the rule, clearing the way for the competition. "Louisville Metro has an important interest in managing its public rights-of-way to maximize efficiency and enhance public safety," he said in dismissing the case with prejudice.

Meanwhile, Google had buried its cables with "micro-trenching" technology. The company has been signing up customers for weeks.

Wireless Network

Now that AT&T has realized it can't stop the competition, Google has the option to use utility poles for its fiber cable. Similar lawsuits are pending in other cities, but face the same legal hurdles.

Google, in the meantime, is developing a wireless technology to connect many homes. It is less expensive for multi-unit residential and businesses, but not for suburban single-family homes.

Related Resources: