The amazing shrinking Google Fiber

8 April 2017 by Steve Blum
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More empty chairs.

In the latest sign that Google is backing out of the Internet access business, hundreds of employees, including two top executives, have been shuffled out of telecoms jobs and into other parts of the company. According to a Bloomberg story by Mark Bergen, Google is cleaning house at its Access division…

Milo Medin, a vice president at Access, and Dennis Kish, a wireless infrastructure veteran who was president of Google Fiber, are leaving the division but staying at the Alphabet holding company.


Google Fiber says no settlement, CPUC to decide protest of Webpass deal

28 November 2016 by Steve Blum
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Big or small?

Google Fiber won’t agree to a settlement with the only group to lodge a protest in California to its acquisition of Webpass, an independent Internet service provider. The deal requires approval from the California Public Utilities Commission because Webpass is certified as a competitive telecoms company, which makes it a regulated public utility.

This sort of review is usually routine. Exceptions are generally the result of past problems with CPUC rules – not an issue in this case – or occur when the companies involved are major players in California’s telecoms ecosystem.… More

Free access to public streets is a gift with strings, not AT&T's monopoly right

18 July 2016 by Steve Blum
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The streets of San Francisco already take a beating.

AT&T wants to decide where and how competitors install fiber in conduit, manholes and handholes that it owns. That’s the gist of its response to a complaint filed by Webpass with the California Public Utilities Commission.

California law requires any utility – telecoms or electric – that installs poles and conduit in the public right of way to share those facilities with any qualified competitor. Utilities can use this public property for free, but that gift comes with strings attached.… More

Competitive ISPs need access to conduit, but it has be there in the first place

4 July 2016 by Steve Blum
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The need for open trench notification policies is particularly acute when a local agency restricts future cuts into a given street, after the completion of a trenching or repaving project. But the need to rapidly respond to changes in the broadband industry and market conditions means that a new, or newly expanding, competitive Internet service provider is a disadvantage if, say, a five year moratorium was put into effect on a particular street three years ago, before the company was even founded.… More

California conduit battle continues as AT&T dances around the question

24 June 2016 by Steve Blum
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Webpass’ fight with AT&T over access to conduit continues. That’s the word from a Kind Reader of this humble blog who seems to be in a position to know. Yesterday’s post about the complaint Webpass has filed with the California Public Utilities Commission about AT&T’s conduit access practices was behind events on a couple of points. I didn’t know the outcome of last week’s hearing or the fact that Google Fiber bought Webpass on Wednesday.… More

Google Fiber buys Webpass, jumps into CLEC infrastructure access fight

23 June 2016 by Steve Blum
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Webpass was just acquired by Google Fiber. See this morning’s blog post about Webpass’ beef with AT&T at the California Public Utilities Commission for more info on what Webpass is up to.

It won’t have an immediate impact on the proceeding – lots of hoops to jump through first – but long term, it gives Google Fiber a big, new weapon in its fight to gain access to fundamental broadband infrastructure in California. There are also implications – positive – for its current fiber-to-the-apartment project in San Francisco.… More

Webpass challenges AT&T's iron grip on conduit

23 June 2016 by Steve Blum
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Splice case in AT&T manhole, click for the big picture.

Update: Webpass was just acquired by Google Fiber. That won’t have an immediate impact on the proceeding – lots of hoops to jump through first – but long term, it’ll be fun to watch. Stay tuned.

Telephone companies and other regulated utilities have to share conduit and pole access. They can charge each other a particular rate for it or, if usable space is lacking, require upgrades.… More