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Google Fiber facing slow Nashville rollout thanks to AT&T-owned telephone poles

A Google Fiber van in Nashville.
Google Fiber is the dream for many internet users, but it seems as though Google is having a little trouble with its deployment in Nashville, Tennessee. The main issue? Telephone poles.

According to a report from the Nashville Scene, Google is looking to access the telephone poles in order to bring Fiber to the masses. While the Nashville Electric Service is the largest owner of those telephone poles, AT&T is the second-largest owner.

It could take months for Google to gain permission to use these phone poles. That’s because when Google wants to use a pole, the company that owns the pole has to notify each telecom company that it will be sending a crew to the pole — something it has to do for each and every pole through a process called Make Ready.

“The process can take months, even if contractually mandated time frames are followed. Google Fiber officials and operatives working on their behalf suggest that’s not always the case,” notes the report from the Nashville Scene.

To help speed things up, Google is pushing for a new ordinance called “One Touch Make Ready,” which would allow a company, such as Google, to make all the adjustments itself without needing to wait for other companies to give permission for each and every telephone pole, as long as Google uses contractors approved by the other companies.

A similar ordinance was actually passed in Louisville, Kentucky, but AT&T sued the government to try and stop it. AT&T will reportedly take similar action in Nashville, arguing that the move could disrupt contracts that it has with its workers union. Not only that, but Comcast suggests that the next step is a meeting with all of the companies involved to try and review the current process and see how it could be improved.

Obviously, Google would like to deploy Fiber as quickly as possible, but if the likes of AT&T and Comcast have anything to say about it, it could be a while before the citizens of Nashville have that superfast internet they’ve been waiting for.

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