Another cable company just jumped into Google and AT&T’s fight over utility poles.
Frontier Communications has filed a letter of support for AT&T, which is trying to block Google from accessing its poles to install the equipment for the super-fast internet service, Fibre.
We first saw the letter surfaced by Ars Technica.
AT&T filed a lawsuit against Louisville, Kentucky after the city passed an ordinance called “One Touch Make Ready,” which aims to reduce the cost and speed of deploying fibre-optic networks by allowing companies like Google to install equipment on utility poles and move preexisting equipment in one fell swoop.
Although Frontier Communications doesn’t operate in Louisville and says it received no solicitation or payment from AT&T to write its letter, it’s worried that if the ordinance is upheld there, other cities where it does operate will enact similar rules.
Frontier writes that Louisville has “bestowed unwarranted and unprecedented benefits” to companies like Google that “seek unfettered access to those poles,” thus stripping cable companies like AT&T of its rights.
Google, meanwhile, has said that it’s “disappointed” that AT&T would try to stifle Louisville’s efforts to promote broadband and video competition.
Frontier’s letter makes it clear that it’s eyeing that competition warily. Fibre is currently available in five cities, with 7 more on the way and ambitions to spread its service all around the US. It just bought Webpass, another high-speed internet company, to speed its expansion and test new wireless technologies (which could help it avoid as many pole fights in the future).