CenturyLink protests Google Fiber's move into Provo

Google Fiber (Nasdaq: GOOG) may have officially got the green light from Provo's city council to purchase the iProvo network, but it's now facing a protest from area incumbent telco CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL).

In a letter sent to the city councilors, CenturyLink said that it objects to the sale and wants the vote on giving Google Fiber approval to purchase iProvo and operate their FTTH network to be delayed by 30 days.

As reported by The Daily Herald, the delay would give the city time to fulfill a Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) request from the telco, and to let them object to the negotiation process.

"CenturyLink feels they have been treated unfairly," said city council attorney Brian Jones during the council meeting Tuesday night. "They feel they were excluded from the process."

However, Jones was quick to point out that the city contacted the telco a number of times starting in 2010 but they never responded to the RFP the city issued for the telco network. Even after the city made another attempt to contact CenturyLink about wanting to be part of the process, they did no respond

"CenturyLink responded to the RFQ but never responded to the RFP," Jones said.

What's interesting about CenturyLink is that the telco's current DSL-based service speeds don't come anywhere near what Google Fiber or the existing iProvo network could offer. The telco currently offers speeds from 1.5 Mbps to 40 Mbps depending on how far away a customer resides from the nearest remote terminal or central office. Customers also have to abide by usage caps.

CenturyLink is not the only service provider that's against Google Fiber's entry into Provo. Independent ISP, XMission said that the city is giving Google the ability to become a monopoly.

Although Google purchased the iProvo network for $1, the city will still have to pay $500,000 to hire a civil engineering firm to locate where the existing fiber was placed and $722,000 for equipment used to access the fiber service for various applications such as traffic light operations.

Unlike its deployment in Kansas City and its planned work in Austin,Texas, Google's entry into Provo is different as it is purchasing another network as part of its expansion strategy.

Under its proposed plan, Google said that it would upgrade the existing network to 1 Gbps technology and complete network construction so all homes in the city can get access to the service. In addition to the 1 Gbps service, it would offer a free 5 Mbps service to the 115,000 residents on the existing Provo network who pay a $30 activation fee.

For more:
- The Daily Herald has this article

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