Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Google's real broadband innovation?

According the WSJ:

Google's real innovation was to tunnel under the regulatory morass that inhibits physical broadband deployment. Why is Google introducing Google Fiber in Kansas City and not its native California? Google's own Milo Medin has explained repeatedly that regulatory brambles make California "prohibitively expensive."

Kansas City not only is more business friendly, it slashed the taxes and mandates that municipalities inflict on cable and telco operators. Most crucial was allowing Google selectively to extend its network into neighborhoods where customers would make it worth Google's while.

This is a regulatory revolution in a world where, to build out their cable systems, cable operators for decades have not only been dunned for economically unjustified franchise fees (read gratuitous taxes to plump up local government) but shakedowns for everything from youth centers to studios and equipment for government-run public access channels. In one case, a former Queens Borough president in New York City in the 1980s killed himself amid an investigation that would eventually include charges that a go-between had sought a million-dollar bribe from a local cable company.

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