Google publishes broadband manifesto for cities

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In Kansas City, my crews don’t wait for inspectors, the inspectors wait for them. We work with communities that make it easy for us. If you make it hard on us, enjoy your cable connection.
Milo Medin, head of Google Fiber, 24 October 2013.

If you want Google to run fiber through your city, be prepared to clear the path. That’s the message Google delivered to the 34 cities that it’s considering for the next round of fiber to the home build-outs last month. Those cities have until midnight California time on 1 May 2014 to upload a completed checklist provided by Google, which it has just published.

Google already outlined its three top-level conditions – accurate maps of infrastructure and homes, access to conduit, poles and other assets, and bring permit processes into the 21st century – but the checklist gets deeper into detail. For example…

Google Fiber’s Process and Standards:

  • We plan to submit all permit application material to you electronically.
  • For underground construction, we plan on submitting plan view only.
  • All responses, including approvals, should be sent back to Google Fiber
    electronically.
  • Permit applications will include the applicable area and the duration of at least one
    hundred and eighty (180) days to complete the proposed installation.
  • We would like the applicable area to be as large as possible, ideally covering the
    entire city. If not, the applicable area should be a minimum of either:

    • twenty-thousand (20,000) households
    • three-hundred (300) route miles of underground installation.
  • We are looking for a response within ten (10) days of submitting the permit application.
  • If a permit application is not approved, we need to receive a detailed list of alterations needed to get the permit approved.
  • The city should provide Permit Application communication through a single point of contact.

It’s an economically rational approach. Elephantine though it may be, Google’s capital capacity has limits. It’ll invest where its money and the fiber it buys goes the furthest, the fastest.