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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 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...

  • 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 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 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 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.

  • 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. []
  • 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 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.

  • 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.

To be a kind of moral Unix, he touched the hem of Nature's shift. -- Shelley