Many assumed that the delay in service from Google Fiber is due to the difficulty in placing fiber underground and accessing utility poles from the control of AT&T and Comcast. However, AT&T accuses that the delay is due to Google Fiber giving false information.
AT&T Tennessee president, Joelle Phillips, said that Google Fiber has been providing them with faulty engineering drawings. “We have had some problems in that part of the process. Their drawings frequently would not engineer the job in the way we think is appropriate. They have our lines too low to meet the national safety code,” Phillips said.
It is to be noted that Google Fiber is trying to pass “One touch make ready” ordinance in Nashville. The ordinance will allow Google Fiber to make changes in the utility pole. This means they can move other cables including the cables of AT&T while installing their cables. AT&T is against the ordinance, saying it will “put service reliability and public safety at risk.”
The old make-ready rule requires the Google Fiber to notify NES for the need of space in the utility poles. NES contacts Comcast and AT&T and they execute the work. However, with the new ordinance, Google Fiber can use their own contractors instead of waiting for the AT&T workforces.
AT&T doesn’t approve of contractors of Google Fiber moving their cables, especially as they don’t trust their engineering documents in the first place. Phillips said, “Let’s assume they hire the very best contractors, if they give those engineering plans that we get in our application to that contractor I know that’s work that’s going to be done all over again. I am seeing many of those that have errors in them that would be corrected so it’s really not so much that they would hire bad contractors but that they might give them bad instructions.”
He added “After we have gotten a payment, we schedule the work and do the construction and we’re pretty much on track to be completing from the time we get payment to the end in four weeks. We have a contract that has a couple of 45-day intervals in it so I don’t know how they can be surprised by how long it’s taking us to complete the work based on what the contract says.”
Apart from Nashville, AT&T and Google Fiber is having a similar battle in Louisville and Kentucky as well.