Google Fiber halts Overland Park, Kan. rollout plans

Google Fiber (Nasdaq: GOOG) is putting its planned deployment of a fiber to the home (FTTH) network in Overland Park, Kan., on hold after the the contract agreement was delayed due to a liability concern in the legal agreement between the two parties that needed to be resolved, reports eWeek.

During a city council meeting on Monday, an attorney representing Google Fiber said in addition to halting its plans it asked the city for a continuance on its existing proposal. Todd LaSala, private legacl counsel retained by the city to assist with the negotiations with Google Fiber was also present. No one from Google was present at this meeting.

Both of the attorneys said they did not know when Google Fiber would present their FTTH plans to city officials again.

Sean Reilly, Manager of Communications for the Overland City Manager, told FierceTelecom in an e-mail that "Overland Park City Council is ready to sign the proposed agreements when Google Fiber is ready to proceed forward."

He added that Overland Park's proposed agreements are identical to the agreements that Google Fiber reached with city of Lenexa, Kan., a neighboring city of Overland Park, on Tuesday, Sept 17.

While Google Fiber and the city agree that the agreements are fine, the service provider has stated it wants to refocus its energy on communities where like Kansas City, Kan. where it already has an agreement in place.

Members of the city council made a motion that authorized Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach to make a resolution of the Council that supports bringing Google Fiber to Overland Park.

Gerlach said that passing this resolution "would be very appropriate at least showing the interest that this council and this city has in attracting Google Fiber to our city." 

Rob Walch, an Overland Park resident who attended the meeting, told eWeek that the liability issue came after nine months of discussions between the city and Google.

"Overland Park made it really, really hard for Google, and Google has a lot of other cities and towns to work with," he said. "Google had to make an example of somebody. Clearly, Google wanted to and did deliver a strong message to Overland Park and all other cities tonight."

Overland Park is the first of all of the Kansas City-area communities to raise an objection to Google Fiber's plans.

All of the other areas, including Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah, where it announced it would build out networks, have embraced the Internet search giant as a way to spur competition with area incumbent telcos such as AT&T (NYSE: T) and CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) that have been content to offer much slower copper-based DSL service.

For more:
- eWeek has this article

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Updated article on Oct. 18 with clarification about Google's request for a continuance and the city's support to have Google Fiber come to their city.