To get a gigabit from Google, cities need processing speed

by Steve Blum • , , , ,

Not to Google spec either.

Google has handed a fiber-ready checklist to 34 cities in 8 states, including five in California. Not just anywhere in California, but smack in the middle of Silicon Valley. You’d think that if there was any metro area in the state that would zip through Google’s homework, it would be the likes of San Jose, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Santa Clara and Palo Alto.

No need to guess, though. With Google setting a deadline of 1 May 2014 for cities to provide the information and accommodations requested, we’ll soon find out if there’s any hope for the Golden State.

What’s being asked is not coming from out of the blue. The three main items on the list are policies and practices that have been urged by broadband advocates and tech-savvy elected officials for years…

• We’re asking cities to ensure that we, and other providers, can access and lease existing infrastructure…
• We’re asking cities to provide accurate information about local infrastructure like utility poles, conduit and existing water, gas and electricity lines…
• We’re asking cities to make sure they have permit processes suitable for a project of this scale.

But general local willingness to adapt and and change with the times is not enough. Californian law makes it easy for small groups – even a single, dedicated individual – to tie up any kind of construction project for years. And if special interest groups and their political allies jump on an opportunity to shake down a giant corporation for goodies galore, it’s game over. Ask San Francisco how that works.

Or ask the man in charge of Google Fiber, Milo Medin…

We work with communities that make it easy for us. if you make it hard on us, enjoy your cable connection.