Googler Fiber has had some trouble in Nashville of late, largely because rivals AT&T and Comcast don’t want to let the service infringe on their territory. It now looks like that won’t affect the rollout of Google Fiber for much longer after local lawmakers advanced their proposal to let Fiber come into town.
According to local media, Nashville’s Metro Council has voted to advance legislation allowing Google to bring its own infrastructure into the town despite threats from Comcast and AT&T to pursue legal action if the bill were to pass.
The legislation itself is for the new “one touch make ready” rule, which essentially allows for a company to make all the necessary wire adjustments itself, as long as it hires an accredited crew approved by the pole owner to do it. This prevents multiple companies from having to fix wires on the poles, saving money and time in the rollout of a new internet service like Google Fiber. AT&T argued that the rule would affect its contracts with union workers, and claimed that the FCC, not local governments, had the authority to make these decisions.
It’s important to note that the legislation simply passed on its second reading, which does not guarantee that it will pass on its third and final reading. Still, the Nashville Business Journal notes that the second reading is often the most important when it comes to the Nashville Metro Council, and that considering the proposal has passed both of its first two readings, it’s likely that it will pass its third.
Even if the council votes to approve the rule for a third time, it’s unlikely to be the last we’ll hear of the matter. AT&T sued to try and stop a similar law in Louisville, Kentucky, and last month said that an ordinance in Nashville would result in litigation. Consumers appear to view the decision as a good thing, as it gives them another option and increases competition in the area.
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