AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is suing Louisville’s local government over an ordinance that would allow Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) to use the utility poles to expand Google Fiber into the county.
The lawsuit was presented to the US District Court in the county where the mobile network company claims that the ordinance is not lawful. The company argues that the law violates pole attachment regulations instituted by the Federal Communications Commission. AT&T also stated that the Kentucky law indicates that Louisville’s Public Service Commission is the only entity with authority over the regulation of pole attachments.
The telecommunications company claims that Google Fiber’s entry into the market is positive competition and that it is a welcome addition to faster internet. However, the “One Touch Make Ready” bill approved this month is in violation of federal and state regulations. AT&T spokesman Joe Burgan revealed that the lawsuit was filed because the Metro Council does not have jurisdiction over pole attachments.
AT&T also stated that it would allow Alphabet to expand its Google Fiber network via AT&T poles if it signs the AT&T Standard Commercial Agreement similar to the contracts that the software and tech company has signed in other areas. The mobile communication network company claims that the ordinance will allow companies to move its fiber cables without notification. The original intention of the ordinance was to lower the disruptions caused by technicians.
The previous regulation dictated that providers would each have to send a technician to move its equipment to create space for new entries. The new ordinance means only one contractor would move the equipment, and AT&T does not feel comfortable with that. This is because the ordinance gives other companies temporary access to AT&T property without authorization as indicated in the lawsuit.
Though the lawsuit is not against Google Fiber, it presents itself as a bump that will slow down Alphabets timeline for its expansion in the county. A similar dispute between the two companies occurred in Texas, but they managed to settle their differences.