Court dismisses 'Google Fiber' case against Metro government

AT&T's lawsuit against Louisville Metro Government — related to an ordinance that aimed to ease in more fiber internet service providers — has been dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge David Hale.

Locally, this is known as the Google Fiber case.

It was brought by BellSouth Telecommunications LLC, which operates as AT&T Kentucky, because of metro government's " One Touch Make Ready" ordinance.

That ordinance, passed in February 2016, would help accommodate Google Fiber's entrance to the market by allowing it and other internet service providers to move existing lines on AT&T's utility poles and install their own lines, rather than waiting for each company with lines attached to those poles to do so individually.

AT&T argued that the ordinance conflicts with and is pre-empted by the pole attachment regulations of the Federal Communications Commission. But Hale wrote that the ordinance falls within Louisville Metro Government's authority to manage its rights-of-way.

"We are very pleased with the ruling," Chris Poynter, communications director for the mayor's office, said in an emailed statement.

The decision is appealable, but AT&T has not decided whether to pursue that yet.

"We are currently reviewing the decision and our next steps,” said Joe Burgan, director of public affairs for AT&T Kentucky.

A fiber network, from any provider, brings gigabit high-speed internet service to a market. AT&T (NYSE: T) already is deploying its own AT&T Fiber network in Louisville, and it is available to more than 50,000 locations in the area.

David A. Mann covers these beats: Restaurants, beverage industry, manufacturing, distribution/logistics, unions.

Louisville Business First


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