AT&T is suing the Louisville Metro Council over Google Fiber

att sues louisville google fiber telephonepole1
Updated at 2:25 Pacific time to include Google’s response. 

AT&T is suing local government in Louisville, Kentucky, over an ordinance intended to clear the way for Google Fiber in that city. The ordinance in question, dubbed “One Touch Make Ready,” would make it easier for Fiber contractors to use the telephone poles in that city, helping clear the way for the ultra-fast Internet service there.

AT&T’s core argument: Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations take precedent over local ordinances, and this ordinance contradicts those regulations. They also argue that local government doesn’t have any authority to regulate telephone poles, which are within the purview of Public Service Commission, a state agency, Ars Technica reports.

Google Fiber, an ISP over which users can download a gigabyte of information in under 10 seconds, has made headlines across the country. Many municipal governments are actively trying to attract the utility.

“One Touch Make Ready” was passed by the Louisville Metro Council on February 11. Prior to this ordinance there was no clear protocol to follow for companies that wanted to use the poles, reports Louisville Business First. “One Touch Make Ready” means that any company wanting to set up new lines on the poles (for example, Google) could request other telecom companies (for example, AT&T) move their lines when necessary. If the lines aren’t moved within 30 days, the company that made the request can legally move the wires themselves.

Most of the poles in the city are owned by either AT&T or Louisville Gas & Electric, the local energy company.

AT&T send a statement to Louisville Business First outlining their legal argument.

“Louisville Metro Council’s recently passed ‘One Touch Make Ready’ Ordinance is invalid, as the city has no jurisdiction under federal or state law to regulate pole attachments,” said the statement. “We have filed an action to challenge the ordinance as unlawful. Google can attach to AT&T’s poles once it enters into AT&T’s standard Commercial Licensing Agreement, as it has in other cities. This lawsuit is not about Google. It’s about the Louisville Metro Council exceeding its authority.”

As the statement implies, this isn’t the first time Google and AT&T have clashed over pole usage: the two parties ultimately came to an agreement in Austin, Texas.

Update: Google posted a response late Friday, stating they are “disappointed” with AT&T’s lawsuit.

“Google Fiber is disappointed that AT&T has gone to court in an effort to block Louisville’s efforts to increase broadband and video competition,” said the statement. “We are confident the City’s common-sense initiative will be upheld.”

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer also weighed in on Twitter, saying the city will fight AT&T to keep the new rule in place.

Mobile

AT&T jumps the gun with deliberately misleading 5GE launch

As excitement about 5G networks continues to build, AT&T jumps the gun with a ridiculous and deliberate attempt to deceive the public with 5G Evolution – a speed bump that’s based on improvements to 4G tech.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Mobile

AT&T to stop selling location data to third parties after explosive report

After a report from Motherboard highlighted that carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint were selling location information to third parties and sometimes ended up in the wrong hands, carriers have announced they will end location selling…
Mobile

AT&T defends 5G E logo that tells people they're using 5G when they're not

Network giant AT&T plans to rebrand potentially millions of 4G smartphones to make it appear as though they are on 5G networks, the company confirmed -- since the 4G network has already "evolved."
Deals

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for January 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Computing

Change your mouse cursor in Windows with these quick tips

The standard mouse cursor is boring, so change it! With this guide on how to change your mouse cursor in Windows, you can choose to use one of Microsoft's pre-installed cursors or download something a bit more extravagant.
Computing

Go hands-free in Windows 10 with speech-to-text support

Looking for the dictation, speech-to-text, and voice control options in Windows 10? Here's how to set up Speech Recognition in Windows 10 and use it to go hands-free in a variety of different tasks and applications within Windows.
Computing

Printing to PDF in Windows is easy, no matter which method you use

Microsoft's latest operating system makes it easier than ever to print to PDF in Windows, but there are alternative methods for doing so, even if you want to forgo Adobe Acrobat. Here's how.
Computing

Changing a PDF into an EPUB file is easier than you might think

If you like to read on a tablet or ebook reader, you'll find that ePUB files offer a number of advantages over PDFs. With this guide, we'll show you how to convert a PDF to EPUB in a few quick steps.
Computing

Need to combine a PDF? Here's how to get it done on both Windows and Mac

Sometimes juggling multiple files at once is more of a hassle than a convenience, especially when a single file would do. This quick guide will teach you how to combine PDF files on Windows, MacOS, or with online tools.
Computing

Don’t even bother with the rest. Here are the only laptop brands that matter

If you want to buy your next laptop based around a specific brand, it helps to know which the best brands of laptops are. This list will give you a good grounding in the most reliable, quality laptop manufacturers today.
Computing

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.
Computing

Style up your MacBook Air with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers and padded sleeves priced from $10 to $130. Happy shopping!
Computing

Getting Windows 10 updated doesn't have to be so painful

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.