Google Fiber Rollouts Poised To Explode With New FCC Utility Pole Policy
Alphabet says that going into the ambitious rollout of its Google Fiber internet that it knew things would be costly, hard to pull off, and slow-going. What the search giant didn’t expect going into Google Fiber rollout was how hard it would be to gain timely access to space on a utility pole to install its equipment. Google says that one of the bigger challenges it encountered with utility poles had to do with making the poles ready for the new attachments.
Google says that the "Make Ready" portion of the install currently involves a sequential process that means multiple crews coming out to the pole several times over many months. That process means lengthy delays and inflated costs for Google. A faster and cheaper way to do this is called One Touch Make Ready or OTMR. This process allows the new attacher to do much of the make ready work themselves all at one time.
Google says that OTMR is a common-sense policy that will help new broadband providers to enter the market and offer competitive service while reducing delays and cutting costs. Work on the poles will be more efficient and will result in fewer crews coming into neighborhoods and making noise while disrupting the flow of traffic.
The FCC is on the verge of passing a new rule that would institute a national One Touch Make Ready system with the goal of increasing broadband deployment across the United States. The FCC stated, "OTMR speeds and reduces the cost of broadband deployment by allowing the party with the strongest incentive — the new attacher — to prepare the pole quickly to perform all of the work itself, rather than spreading the work across multiple parties."
Google has given full support for the FCC and has stated that it has applauded the efforts of Chairman Ajit Pai to remove obstacles that limit the choice for consumers and competition in the broadband market. The actual FCC proposal can be read here [PDF]. Google has had a rough road with fiber rollout and has blamed its inability to deliver on the Google Fiber promise across America on anti-competitive practices.