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Google Networking Technology

Google Fiber Work Hung Up In Kansas City 153

Posted by samzenpus
from the best-laid-plans dept.
alphadogg writes "When Google announced last spring that Kansas City, Kan., had landed the tech company's much-pursued super-speed Internet project, the company gushed about the local utility poles. Now it turns out that differences over where and how to hang wires on those poles, and what fees or installation costs may be required, have created a troublesome bump in plans to launch the project."
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Google Fiber Work Hung Up In Kansas City

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  • by symbolset (646467) * on Thursday January 19, 2012 @02:40AM (#38745708) Journal
    We knew there would be resistance bordering on armed rebellion. This is like delivering food aid to Somalia. Google knew going into this they needed a lawyer for every trench digger and fiber hanger to deliver Kansas City from the early 20th Century, and should have budgeted a hundred million dollars to grease the wheels that turn the gears of industry. There's entrenched opposition to this in Kansas City with incumbent warlords defending their turf, as there is in the rest of the nation. This isn't really surprising at all.
    • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @03:41AM (#38745898)

      This is when you say "Ok, our #2 city is ______. If we can't resolve this in the next month we're going to go with them." There are PLENTY of small towns and cities around the country that would jump at the opportunity for Google Fiber (as show in the application turnout).

      Let everyone in Kansas City know it's local politics holding stuff up.

      • by symbolset (646467) * on Thursday January 19, 2012 @04:05AM (#38745994) Journal

        Out where I live there's a little podunk town called Ephrata, Washington. Their power utility thought to get Internet to their customers before it was banned as "anticompetitive". So now out here, hundreds of miles from the big city and miles from your nearest neighbor you can get gigabit internet over fiber for $80 a month, and can have for some seven years and more. It's not a density thing, it's not a money thing - they're actually turning a profit at that fee that they have to get rid of because, of course, they're a nonprofit.

        Can I get that here in the city? No. My public utilty failed to get grandfathered in back in the day and now claims "no interest" in doing so - even though they have something like 1000x the population density of Ephrata and it doesn't matter anyway because the governor signed into law protectionist legislation that prevents my power utility from competing "unfairly" with cable companies for Internet access. Thank God she's got my best interests at heart, or I might have gigabit Internet now and may have killed myself with gigabit broadband HD pron.

        • by symbolset (646467) * on Thursday January 19, 2012 @04:26AM (#38746062) Journal
          BTW: If you live in Ephrata and have a spare closet, I'd like to work a deal for some hosting where I pay your whole power and Internet bill in return for you ignoring a couple little boxes. People from Grant County with 100Mbps fiber may also apply.
        • by Nethead (1563) <joe@nethead.com> on Thursday January 19, 2012 @09:32AM (#38747148) Homepage Journal

          Sometimes I think I might want to retire over there, maybe Wenatchee. But then I think of the 20 years I spent in Yakima and come to my senses. But NWI/LocalTel does have some sweet pipe. I'm over there (from Tulalip) about twice a month to turn up circuits. Hell, my T-Mobile phone doesn't have signal in downtown Grand Coullee but the freaking tire store had 50Mb/50Mb service. They could have 100/100 for $5.00 more, but the 50/50 is the lowest plan available. Fuck Me!

        • by LaRoach (968977)

          ...or I might have gigabit Internet now and may have killed myself with gigabit broadband HD pron.

          To be fair it would probably just be permanent carpal tunnel syndrome, no deaths involved.

      • by tverbeek (457094)

        As a matter of fact, Grand Rapids MI [goog616.com] (which was one of the top contenders) is still very much interested and available.

    • by George_Ou (849225) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @03:43AM (#38745906)
      Did you even read the article? Oh wait, this is slashdot.

      The article talks about unequal treatment. One provider offers the same public service as Google, but they're not getting special treatment and free access to the facilities. Then there's the issue of higher costs associated with hanging fiber near electrical wiring. You don't want your workers or customers getting fried, so there will be additional costs.
      • by hedwards (940851)

        If there's already a provider in KC that provides the same public service as Google, then why exactly is Google needed there? Here in Seattle we have tons of fiber available for use and internet speeds max out at like 12mbps if you're willing to put up with crappy service and caps from Comcast. In much of the city the limit otherwise is 1.5mbps.

        • If there's already a provider in KC that provides the same public service as Google, then why exactly is Google needed there?

          Bubwaaaaah? "We already have McDonalds, why do we need this Burger King/KFC?" "We already have Windows, why do we need any other OS?". "We already have Volkswagen, why do we need any other car manufacturer?". Do I really have to say to a fellow Slashdotter that competition is good for the consumer?

          Here in Seattle we have tons of fiber available for use and internet speeds max out at like 12mbps

          That's copper speeds, not worth having fiber for..

      • by Jawnn (445279) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @10:52AM (#38747796)

        Did you even read the article? Oh wait, this is slashdot. The article talks about unequal treatment. One provider offers the same public service as Google, but they're not getting special treatment and free access to the facilities. Then there's the issue of higher costs associated with hanging fiber near electrical wiring. You don't want your workers or customers getting fried, so there will be additional costs.

        I did read the article. The unequal treatment argument is, in a word, bullshit. The local incumbent utilities, if they had been, you know, competitive, could have attempted to sell the same service to the community for the same terms. But they didn't, for the simple reason that they were doing what they've been doing for decades; sitting on their fat asses because they have never had to actually compete.

    • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @04:48AM (#38746146)

      If you read through the article, the problem isnt resistance, its disagreement about how to run the fiber. Noone wants Google to abandon the project, they just cant agree on how to implement it.

      • by symbolset (646467) * on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:06AM (#38746192) Journal
        There will always be objections about the minor details. That's the last line of defense. I'm glad it's not about saving the habitat of the naked gerbil, or whatever.
        • by umghhh (965931)
          Good that you mentioned this - I think naked gerbil and other pr0n industry representatives should leave our country and take their disease with them. let us leave in peace (and vote republican).
      • by hedwards (940851)

        I do, if they abandon it maybe they'll come here. Knowing some of the details I'm more than a little bit shocked that we got passed over by cheaters. I'm not really sure how it is that they thought this was going to work or that it would be somehow desirable versus using preexisting dark fiber to kickstart the project.

  • Corruption. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Is there anything it can't screw up?

    Google didn't bribe the right people and suck the right dicks. So it's going to be stuck in red tape forever.

    • Re:Corruption. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Z00L00K (682162) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @03:25AM (#38745850) Homepage

      And why use poles at all? Place everything underground where it's protected from weather. And it looks a lot tidier too.

      It's a bit more expensive but the maintenance is a lot lower so the total cost will even out.

      • Re:Corruption. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by George_Ou (849225) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @03:44AM (#38745914)
        Dude, it's like 4-8 times more expensive to lay fiber underground and this is a well documented fact. It's vastly superior for sure, but at a very steep price.
        • by symbolset (646467) *
          I could connect about 150 of my neighbors with a gigabit fenceline network for about $300 total. If I did that 30 times, I'd have a network of 5000 users with money to spend, and the Internet would build a bridge to us.
          • Re:Corruption. (Score:5, Informative)

            by George_Ou (849225) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @04:47AM (#38746142)
            Sigh. Listen to yourself. You should just stop posting comments on slashdot and just do what you are suggesting. If you're successful, slashdot will link to you. But before you do that, you should read this post on this subject. http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2627934&cid=38745922 [slashdot.org]
          • by geekoid (135745)

            No, you can't. Thanks for clearly defining just how ignorant you are on the subject. Now please go back to the child's table while the big people talk.

          • by VeriTea (795384)

            More like 15x to 30x expensive. Aerial fiber runs $3 to $7 a foot, underground is $80 to $150 a foot. Renting existing duct is somewhere in between but generally closer to the underground cost. Underground ducts tend to be in bad shape and require lots of repair work. By the time you complete it your total cost ends up less then digging new but much more than an aerial run.

            I have done work installing fiber plant. It isn't easy, seldom quick, and very expensive. You soon discover that there are dozens

          • by evilviper (135110)

            I could connect about 150 of my neighbors with a gigabit fenceline network for about $300 total.

            Well that's complete bullshit... $2 per person? What the hell are you smoking? I understand people vastly underestimating the difficulty in last-mile networking, but you've gone completely off the rails.

            Let's say that's 6 people per household... just try and find a 48-port gigabit switch on your budget... And copper really is a horrible and dangerous thing when used intra-building (think lightning, neighborin

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by umghhh (965931)
          I live in Germany (the big communist country in communist Europe) and the last time I saw these cable guys working they did not dig trenches but made a whole once say 100m and use some funny equipment drilling vertical holes, pulling the cable trough it etc. It all works quite fine for lesser house densities and looking at the debacle in Kansas is probably cheaper then all these fashionable pols. In the cities most of residents have already the cables in their vicinity so it is not a problem.

          Now I wonder h

          • by George_Ou (849225)
            Do you honestly think I'm making up the cost of underground fiber? What you're describing isn't even all that clear and it sounds like there is already conduit in place to pull fiber. If there is no conduit, you have to dig and build conduit.

            Moreover, your copper is no different than our copper and the same physics applies. The same throughput of VDSL2 applies everywhere in the world. The difference is that in addition to the copper phone wires, we have a lot more cable coax competition in addition t
            • by swalve (1980968)
              No, they have machines now [wikipedia.org] that don't need a trench to be dug. They just installed a water line under a canal by me, and they just dug a big pit on either side and used the machine to punch a hole through the earth. I've seen it with fiber too.
            • by mcgrew (92797) *

              You are correct, and the GP is not. I've seen cables pulled like he described, but as you say there is already a pipe for the cable to be pulled through. My dad, a now-retired lineman, laid power cables thirty years ago, and they had to dig a trench for the cable, at least initially (replacing old ones was fairly easy). Digging the trench was actually not that hard, they have very good powered digging equipment that does the job fast.

              As to copper, hell, I have DSL and even the wifi from my router is fast en

              • by Coren22 (1625475)

                As a previous worker 10 years ago in the fiber industry, yes they do have machines which can bore a hole where previously a trench was needed. It doesn't work in every situation, but directional boring is a reality.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directional_boring [wikipedia.org]

                The machine pushes a boring head that can turn on its own into the ground behind metal pipes. The machines I have seen are made by a company named Ditch Witch.

                • by mcgrew (92797) *

                  Progress never stops, fortunately. The ground cables he was laying was in the late 1970s, he's been retired for 20 years. I never knew they had horizontal drillers (he probably doesn't either). Thanks for keeping me up to date!

          • Short reply from someone who lived both in Germany and the US: yes, the US is so hung up on evil commies that it would rather have local government-supported monopolies of corporations than have some sort of national standard on how to deal with setting up a national network.

          • by geekoid (135745)

            They do the same thing here. It depends on the environment and soil type.
            It's still far more expensive the poles. Also, the poles are already there and not going anywhere anytime soon. So they use the poles.

            Fear of commies? Are you posting from 1950?

            It's nice that you like your slow ass copper connection.

        • by hedwards (940851)

          Yes, but we offered to give Google most of that infrastructure and we got passed over.

      • Re:Corruption. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by thegarbz (1787294) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @04:55AM (#38746160)

        It's a bit more expensive but the maintenance is a lot lower so the total cost will even out.

        That's a misnomer. The maintenance of utility poles, pruning branches, and ensuring service lines don't get cut often fall on the power utility provider, not the cable or telecom companies.

        Putting fibre on power poles is in every way a far cheaper option even in the long run than burying it. If you had to build your own poles, and do your own maintenance sure the costs would start to rise, but this isn't the case for most telecom / cable companies. It is why they opt to put them on the poles in the first place.

  • by ArcRiley (737114) <arcriley@ubuntu.com> on Thursday January 19, 2012 @03:09AM (#38745808)

    Maybe I'm missing something, but fiberoptics aren't conductive. That's one of the beautiful things about it. Why would they need steel-coated cables to protect them from the electric lines?

    • by pryoplasm (809342) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @03:18AM (#38745830)

      Somtimes fiber optic cables have a metallic sheath around them, not so much for protection but more to make it easier to detect. If you are doing a site survey, your conductive cables will come up, and you can mark them accordingly. If you have a fiber cable without that jacket, then you run the risk of not knowing where it goes, then snapping through the fiber, and spending some fun time either in a hole or a tent with a fusion splicer.

      Accidentally digging up fiber isn't fun...

    • To protect the cables from the competition?

    • by Maow (620678)

      Maybe I'm missing something, but fiberoptics aren't conductive. That's one of the beautiful things about it. Why would they need steel-coated cables to protect them from the electric lines?

      I thought that too, but my guess is that with enough voltage most things will conduct some electricity. So, in case of accidental contact between Google fibre and (say, downed) power wires, the metal coating will ensure the fibre coating will run to ground wire at nearest pole, not start burning / arcing, possibly some distance from contact. Or, run some of that voltage into some establishment, truly "lighting up" the premises.

      • by thegarbz (1787294)

        Residential powerlines are rarely anywhere near the voltage required for your scenario. The requirement in this case truly is a legacy issue to prevent telecom services coming in contact with conductive power lines. If it's written in an outdated standard somewhere it will still be very hard to argue against.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        If you live in the US, the power lines are 750 volts, the high tension lines on the towers are 30kv, but I don't think they'll be running fiber on the towers. And if the power lines are down, the fiber will be, too, and will have to be replaced anyway. even if you could burn fiber with 750 v.

        If you're on one of those towers, you're in danger of being electrocuted even before the power is applied! Just the cables swinging through the earth's magnetic field generates enough electricity that when my dad was bu

    • by The_Laughing_God (253693) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @03:38AM (#38745886)

      I'd think pole-strung Fiber would need steel strands for structural strength in high winds and other potent weather -- underground fiber has less need of structural strength.

      The steel strands, however, happen to be conductors which need to follow proper isolation procedures.

      • by Lefty2446 (232351)

        Most cable cores are kevlar or similar for weight reasons.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        Stringing it on poles means that you have to have loops to handle when the poles move and any stretch that might occur due to temperature fluctuations and wind.

        You also then have to go to a lot more trouble to fix it if there's a tree that falls across the line. And don't forget about the electronics that are needed to keep the signal going and handle splitting off to the home.

    • by choprboy (155926) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @04:35AM (#38746092) Homepage

      Maybe I'm missing something, but fiberoptics aren't conductive. That's one of the beautiful things about it. Why would they need steel-coated cables to protect them from the electric lines?

      The fiber optic cable is not conductive, but the aerial hanger wire and pole supports, to which the fiber optic is wrapped, most certainly are. This is not about protecting the fiber optic cables, this is about protecting the infrastructure (ALL of the utilities on the pole) and the life and safety of those personal working on it. This issue is very clear-cut and Google/Kansas City will lose. They tried to slip in a fast one of defining their own terms for pole placement, but issue of pole line placement is already quite well established

      The highest voltage lines are placed at the top of the pole, say 25kV feeder lines. Below that on the power pole, outside the exclusion zone of the upper wire, comes the primary distribution lines, perhaps 7kV or 14.4kV, and below that exclusion zone comes the next highest voltage and so forth... At the mid pole location (and below all the above exclusion zones) comes the secondary distribution lines (120V-480V). Below that level comes the telephone lines (48V), and below that cable distribution. At the very bottom is the lowest power lines, namely being fiber optic cables.

      This means that a telephone/etc. service technician never has to be within the exclusion zone of a high voltage, for which they do not have the proper equipment and training. The Google proposal would have the fiber installers working in the same space, and requiring the same training and equipment, as the power company personal who handle live high voltage lines.

  • "We Will Be Demonized For No Good Reason By The Existing Telecoms In This Town, You Just Watch Communications". That way, the townspeople will know why my business is portrayed as puppy kickers and municipal water poisoners.
  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @03:46AM (#38745922) Homepage

    Normally, everybody who hangs wires on poles pays a share of the pole cost. But Google negotiated a contract where they don't have to pay if the fiber optic cable is close to power lines, instead of further down where telephone and TV cable lines go. Working near power lines is dangerous and slow, and when it's done (which is rare) the work has to be done by people trained to work on power lines. Usually, nobody does that unless there's some spot where there's no good alternative. Google thought they could do a lot of it and save money. Wrong.

    Here's a summary of the subject. [pseg.com] Doing this without getting someone killed is not easy. There are major headaches associated with hanging fiber in the power line space. It may be necessary to cut off power on the power lines during installation. While the fiber is non conductive, the messenger wire which supports it is usually steel, so it cannot be pulled into place in the power line space while the power is on. Electricity customers hate having their power cut off for installation work.

    Besides, for "last mile" connections it doesn't help much. Any electrical boxes or pole-mounted equipment have to be down in the communication space on the pole, and the drop to the house has to come from down there. Only for long runs without drops is there any win for hanging fiber in the power line space. On rural lines, where long runs are likely, there's usually not that much wire on the poles, so there's no reason to do that.

    Somebody at Google had too cute an idea, and they've run into the real world.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      I'm surprised that the town thought they could get away with that, I thought that the electric company typically owned the poles and received some money to cover maintenance and replacement by the other utilities that use the poles.

      • by alen (225700)

        in a lot of places outside the big cities the electric company is government owned or a cooperative or both

        • by hedwards (940851)

          Around here the electricity is provided by a public utility, however that does not mean that the mayor's office or city council get to dictate how they use their infrastructure. Which is how it should be, the people running the utility are often there much longer than a term in office is and are supposed to be making long terms plans so that you get stable service and hopefully affordable service as well.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      " Google thought they could do a lot of it and save money." No, that's not why the chose to do that.

      "Somebody at Google had too cute an idea, and they've run into the real world."
      Interesting how people like you just love to hate anything trying to bring progress.

      The issue is that Time Warner is tossing a fit and making something out of nothing. This is all about working the fine details. That is all.

      • by mjwalshe (1680392)
        I suspect like me the commenter has spent time in the real world in a telco - and it is not fair if one company gets something at a discount whether its Google or Murdochs news international free riding on the BBC here in the UK
    • by mjwalshe (1680392)
      Yes I suspect they didn't actually employ any experienced old hands from ATT to advise on this and both sides got carried away Local Loop is radically different to cabling up some datacentre its also flipping expensive.
  • by Rotaluclac (561178) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @03:56AM (#38745960) Homepage
    This question may just show that I'm from Europe... But I really wonder: why use utility poles at all? What's the reason? Here, almost all cities and towns got a fibre-optic network during the last three years. I too have a fibre connection in my home, just like the rest of my town. During all of these activities, utility poles weren't even considered. It was clear from the start that the fibres would go underground. Everywhere. So narrow (50cm or narrower - that's about 1 to 1,5 feet for non-/. readers) trenches were dug in every sidewalk. Where roads had to be crossed, a kind of horizontal drill was used. The same for going from the street to my house: a narrow hole was drilled under my front garden, leaving no visible trace of the fibre. (Actually, it may have been more "pushing" than "drilling", but that's a minor technical detail). I'm just saying - im my state of mind, going underground is just sooooo logical, that alternatives weren't even considered. Why is it so different in the USA?
    • by Teun (17872) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @04:10AM (#38746006) Homepage
      It's all about the constitiution you commie.

      The ground is of the owner, the air of us all.
      Or maybe it is just thoughtless tradition to deface whole neighborhoods and towns with ugly utility poles.

    • by squoozer (730327) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @06:19AM (#38746402)
      I'd love to know where in Europe you are because you certainly aren't in the UK. I can only think of a few test sites that have fibre to the home here. Anyway that's beside the point. Where the cables get put is probably more to do with tradition than anything. In Europe it's traditional to put them underground so we don't have many poles. If you want to lay a new cable you have basically no option but to put it under ground. There are plenty of problems with underground cabling though (at least in the UK). Up until fairly recently very poor records were kept about where cables were laid under ground. The utility company might know the cable ran along a particular road and maybe even which side but little more detail was kept. Each company laying cables also used to work completely on it's own installing conduit that was much larger than needed for future proofing. Then there's the upgrade problem, I live along a busy main road that has been in this spot for 200+ years, in the pavement outside our house there are at least three different gas installations and two, maybe three, different water installations of varying ages. Only one of each actually works but it can be really hard to tell which because one muddy pipe looks much like any other and other works have to avoid all of them. Combine that with sewer pipes, electricity, phone and cable and you end up with a right mess. If you are wondering how I know it's a mess we had to get the street dug up when we moved here to have gas fitted, the gas fitting guys hit the electrical cable and took out the power for about 1000 homes - Doh!
      • by chrb (1083577)

        I'd love to know where in Europe you are because you certainly aren't in the UK. I can only think of a few test sites that have fibre to the home here.

        Virgin Media owns and operates its own fibre-optic cable network [wikipedia.org], the only national cable network in the United Kingdom. As of 31 December 2010 it had a total of approximately 4.8 million cable customers, out of 25 million households in UK. That's 19% of UK households hooked up with Virgin cable.

        Virgin Broadband in cabled areas is marketed as "fibre optic broadband". It is a FTTN network, where fibre optic trunk lines are used to connect the area's headend to cabinets on the street.[citation needed] It is not a fibre to the home service like Verizon FiOS; instead, the link between the cabinet and the customer uses DOCSIS 3.0 over coaxial copper cable.

        Okay, so it's FTTN not FTTH, but the copper only goes a few tens of meters from cabinet to household, which means you could easily push 1 gigabit over it. The fastest current service is 100mbit.

        • by jo_ham (604554)

          They're bumping the top speed up to 120Mb from February this year, and everyone else is getting a speed doubling for no price increase (triple speed up for those on 20Mb). I've been on their 50/5 Mb service for over a year and it has been fantastic with very little downtime and consistently high speeds. From next month the my package will be 100/10.

          10 > 20
          20 > 60
          30 > 60
          50 > 100
          100 > 120

          Virgin are telling everyone by email etc, but if you're on the 20Mb tier and you want to prepare, you might

      • I'd love to know where in Europe you are because you certainly aren't in the UK

        I'm in The Netherlands.

        • by Pope (17780)

          So say that instead of "Europe." It's like talking about Africa is if it's one uniform place.

          • So say that instead of "Europe." It's like talking about Africa is if it's one uniform place.

            The situation is the same in other European countries I visited.

            I do admit that I haven't yet visited all countries.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        Putting them underground is pretty much always better than stringing them along poles. The only reason we string them along poles is that we're too cheap to pay for it to be done right in most parts of the US. There are a few places like Alaska where putting them underground is essentially a non-starter due to the distances and the permafrost, but in general it's because we're too cheap to pay for it to be done right.

        Sort of like why our roads are crumbling and our bridges are falling down, but God help any

    • by Eil (82413)

      Wires on telephone poles are much easier to install and maintain. Assuming ideal conditions, you can string up a mile of new line in an afternoon with very little equipment. Breaks, shorts, and other faults are much easier to find and fix as well. No digging required, just follow the line until you see the broken line or sparks flying and then send up a lineman to fix it.

      The downside is that telephone poles are somewhat unsightly. It varies by region, but where I live, you usually only see buried lines in w

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        That's not the only downside. If you have an ice storm, you have a serious problem; the ice pulls the wires down. You have to keep the trees around them trimmed, which costs, and if you don't the trees will take your wires down. And God help you if a tornado comes through, like it did in my neighborhood in 2006; the entire electrical infrastructure had to be completely rebuilt. Had the phone, cable, and electric wires been underground I wouldn't have been without electricity for a week, and I'm sure the arm

    • by greap (1925302)
      Streets are wider, cities are more spread out and the distances are longer; as a result trenching is economical in Europe but not so much here.
  • When I saw the post title I thought it was some new Google Project to collect all their employees' sh*t and hang it in some public space in Kansas City.
  • They are basically breaking new ground putting fiber up there. As others have stated fiber optics don't need a conductor. If anything metal in a cable would be for structural strength for standard cables not designed for collocation with power lines. So Google may have to string commission non standard lines that use another material for reinforcement or use a heavier cable and ground it.

    I think the regulation rules are reasonable. Homes need reliable electricity. Homes need reliable communication. Lines in

  • by killfixx (148785) * on Thursday January 19, 2012 @07:40AM (#38746678) Journal

    1. The city agreed to Google's terms in lieu of tax breaks (usually worth billions over 10-20 years).
    2. BPU should have been contacted by the local govt BEFORE approving the Google deal.
    3. The incumbent telcos are bitching because Google will be eating their lunch...shit...they'll be eating all their meals...

    Remember, taxes paid for the CableCo's to build out most of their infrastructure. Taxes paid for the TelCo's to build out most of their infrastructure.

    Of course, I understand that there are safety concerns here, but that should have gone into hour one negotiations, not 11th hour politicking.

    • by H3lldr0p (40304) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @10:32AM (#38747552) Homepage

      Re #2: The sad fact of the matter is that (as someone living in the county) that it's well known that the BPU is very corrupt. As in former board members have resigned over rigging the pay of friends and family. There's a good reason that the county government ignored them and are trying to ram this through. See this [pitch.com] for further reading.

      Re #3: The incumbents did this to themselves. Before it was popular everywhere else, Kansas fucked its own ass by giving the cable and telcos state wide franchises and removing all of the local oversight boards. There might have been a chance to stop Google, but their greed got the best of them years ago.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is happening in Kansas City, KANSAS. Not the vastly superior Kansas City, MISSOURI. :D
    KC,MO negotiated all this out in their original Google agreement.

  • Which Kansas City? (Score:3, Informative)

    by error 303 (1289340) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @10:26AM (#38747504)
    For the record, this is happening with Kansas City, Kansas, the suburban (though arguably much less nice) counterpart to what everyone thinks of as Kansas City in Missouri. KCK opted for a rushed agreement with Google to secure rights. KCMO actually thought about this ahead of time and secured a deal that avoids this, though they could only announce it several months later. The second half of the article goes on to talk about how the Missouri part of the project (the much bigger part) is still on schedule and on budget. So, yeah. Still waiting on getting fiber to my door, but AT&T just laid a bunch more cable and keep hounding me to switch to them, and Time Warner keeps asking me to update my internet plan. So I've gotta think Google has turned some heads in the area and gotten some comapnies a little worried.
  • Hiring people with lot's theory based education over real experience leads to stuff like.

    As some can hit the books and find a way to save on fees with out knowing what it's realty like to install cable in that way.

    It's will be real sad to see a goggle job ad for cable installer that says need BA or higher and pass over people that don't have one BUT years of doing cable install work.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Too bad Google hires many people with practical experience.

      But, you keep dancing to the Google hate tune.

      • by mjwalshe (1680392)
        Lol right not the sort of experience that is needed for this project though id love the see the face on the Google Chef at the fancy restaurants when some hairy arsed telecoms engineer comes in and starts demanding his "Engineering" breakfast.
  • by mbrinkm (699240) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @11:36AM (#38748242)

    As someone that has designed, engineered, constructed, and operated FTTH deployments I am not surprised by this development at all. Just from reading the press releases and the associated documents it was clear that Google was not employing people with the necessary experience to pull it off. The time-frames that were in those releases were not fiscally feasible.

    This particular issue is almost laughable in its incompetence. The only companies that are putting fiber optics in the power space of aerial power lines are power companies for a reason. It is prohibitively expensive labor wise and it is extremely difficult to get a power company to allow ANYONE that is not employed by them to work in this space. The liability issues alone are enough to cause this idea to be a non-starter.

    It really isn't hard to do this properly, but the first step is to get yourself a copy of the NESC and actually read it.

  • by geekoid (135745)

    Since the original poles were put there by our lord Jesus, to think humans could also put in poles is ridiculous.

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