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Title II would grant Google Fiber access to much-needed infrastructure

Telecommunications giants such as Comcast and AT&T have had the privilege of accessing utility poles and other critical infrastructure for quite some time, something which isn’t enjoyed by smaller competitors such as Google Fiber, but that might change soon. Google recently noted that although Title II of the Telecommunications Act would brings Fiber under the same regulations as massive monopolies, it would also grant the service access to the much-needed utility poles and infrastructure that those monopolies enjoy. 

In a rare public comment by Google on net neutrality, the Internet giant this week said it sees a silver lining in the potential to be regulated like a telecom company. The Federal Communications Commission has proposed treating broadband Internet providers like Google Fiber as telecommunications services under Title II, which President Barack Obama supported in November to complaints from the telecom and cable industries. Title II would expose Google Fiber to new regulations usually targeted at communications utilities and monopolies. Rates and service quality would be regulated by the government and Google Fiber may have to ask permission to stop providing some services, according to Tom Cohen, a communications lawyer at Kelley Drye & Warren. But in a letter Tuesday to the FCC, Google’s director of communications law Austin Schlick highlighted a potential positive for the company if Title II kicks in. As a regulated telecom service, Google Fiber would get access to utility poles and other essential infrastructure owned by utilities. The FCC should make sure this happens because it would promote competition and spur more investment and deployment of broadband internet service, Schlick argued.

 

 

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