With Google Fiber’s lofty ambitions of bringing America up to speed with Gigabit internet now facing a number of roadblocks, telecom and cable companies who control the U.S. broadband market are likely heaving a collective sigh of relief. Alongside Comcast, Time Warner, Charter, Cox and Verizon, AT&T is by far one of the largest broadband providers in the country, and stood to lose substantially if Google Fiber’s expansion plans didn’t come to a grinding halt. AT&T, on its part, is looking to bring its GigaPower internet service to a number of cities in California, including San Francisco, San Jose, San Ramon, Santa Clara, Dublin and Mountain View. Now, the company’s vice president, Ms. Joan Marsh, has published a post on the official AT&T blog, deriding Google for seeking favors from the “government at every level” in its efforts to roll out its high-speed internet service - Google Fiber
The post, titled “Broadband investment: Not for the faint of heart”, goes on to call Google’s broadband service an “experiment” and says that the search giant needs to take some lessons from its struggles with Google Fiber. “The moral of the story”, according to the post, is that "building reliable, ubiquitous high-speed broadband connectivity is tough”. Referring to a recent disagreement between Google and the City Council in Nashville, Tennessee, Ms. Marsh accused Google of “seeking favoritism” and demanding special treatment. However, media sources have been quick to latch on to what some commentators have claimed to be the hypocrisy of AT&T in this regard. According to media reports, the company recently lobbied with Tennessee legislators to keep a law in place that prevents the expansion of municipal broadband networks, thereby reducing competition.
As far as Google Fiber is concerned, it’s already available in a number of cities in the US, including Austin, Texas; Provo, Utah; Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina etc. While Google has publicly stated that it will continue to expand its high-speed internet services beyond the few cities it’s currently available in, the company has recently been delaying its proposed expansion as it explores cheaper options. Some observers have suggested that the obvious option for Google will be to make the strategic shift from wired to wireless internet, especially now that its parent, Alphabet, has acquired fixed wireless provider, Webpass. Google declined comment on AT&T’s allegations.