Charter joins AT&T in battling Google Fiber in Louisville

Google Fiber storefront (Credit: Google)

Charter Communications has asked the mayor of Louisville, Kentucky to help correct what the MSO believes to preferential treatment given by the city to Google Fiber in respective franchise agreements.

According to local paper the Courier-Journal, on July 28, Charter government liaison Jason Keller sent a letter to Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, as well as each member of the city’s 26-member council and five mayors in surrounding suburbs, stating that Google Fiber is operating in the city under less burdensome rules, despite the fact that Charter offers similar services. 

"There is no justification for different regulatory treatment," Keller said.

Charter claims that in addition to paying millions of dollars in taxes each year, it must provide free internet, pay-TV and phone access to dozens of city-owned buildings, and provide resources to public access channels — things Google isn’t obligated to do. 

According to the paper, Mayor Fischer’s general counsel, Kellie Watson, said Charter “raised some interesting issues and ideas.” She said her office will discuss the issue with the county attorney’s office. 

"Consumers win when they have a fair choice of service providers," added Charter spokesman Mike Pedelty. ”That’s why Louisville Metro and the area’s suburban cities should make sure all like service providers are treated the same.”

Charter became the dominant cable operator in Louisville when it closed on its purchase of Time Warner Cable in May. AT&T is also pushing back on Google Fiber’s entry into the city. AT&T is suing Google over the latter’s “One Touch Make Ready” ordinance, which is meant to streamline Google’s work on utility poles owned by AT&T. 

For more:
- read this Louisville Courier-Journal story

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