Google Fiber Progress Slows in Bay Area due to Competition Pole Blocking

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Google Fiber’s Competition is “Pole Blocking” them

Both literally and figuratively, Google Fiber’s competitors are “pole blocking” them from moving forward with the roll out of their gigabit service to cities in the South San Francisco Bay area.

There are two major internet service providers in the South San Francisco Bay area (aka Silicon Valley); AT&T and Comcast.  These two are some of the largest providers in the nation and do not look kindly upon their most recent competitor from Alphabet. Google Fiber has plans to distribute its gigabit fiber server in several cities in Silicon Valley.  At least Santa Clara and Palo Alto seem to be in hand, whereas Sunnyvale, San Jose, and Google home city of Mountain View Google Fiber is finding it hard to make headway.

It’s not as though Google Fiber has no options for running fiber cables to the homes of residents in the trouble-cities, but that the use of utility poles is the least costly.  In San Francisco right now Google has set up a small lease on subterranean fiber in order to offer service.  But the same is not so easy in Silicon Valley. Some poles are private, some are public, but all are needed to make delivery practical.

A particularly troubling perspective in all this is the apparent unwillingness of the current providers to offer service that on par with Google Fiber, while simultaneously attempting to stop Google Fiber from its own offering.  Gigabit internet service has been possible for delivery to homes for many years, but the price point usually stood at between $3,000 to $5,000 per month.  Google Fiber’s insistence that such a service should only cost $70 per month has the potential to destroy the profit margins of the two major competitors.

Thus we arrive at the topic of the hour, “pole blocking” where those who control the poles, appear to have rejected Google Fiber’s access on account that the company doesn’t fit the normal mould of a telecommunications provider the way that AT&T and Comcast do.   There’s no easy way at this point to know if Google Fiber can appeal to a higher power or will just have to play some hardball to get the pole access that it needs.

For now, San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Mountain View are still stuck in the mire of bad competition.   Only time will tell if / when these cities will gain access to the best price per megabyte.