I am not sure if you read the new FCC decree for One Touch Make Ready:
If you read these, the FCC is trying to make the deployment easier for all. At least, that’s how it looks. The deployment of fiber on the poles. This is a great undertaking because it is a problem. We need to be able to roll out and deploy. I got news for you, the incumbents, like all the cable and ISP companies, are not going to give up easily. If they have a lease with the city, they will not allow competition to get on so easily. A lease is a lease and if the city signed something that only allows the incumbent on the pole, what can be done?
The idea here is to get past many of the permitting holdups that the carriers have to deal with, whether it’s for fiber or wireless additions to the poles. No matter who owns them. The thing is, do the cities have a say? There’s more than the permitting that slows these things down.
So, what do we do?
Do we give the poles back to the owners and void the leases? I am not sure what the plan is here. Articles found here:
Now, what will the FCC do here? Will they come out against AT&T and Comcast for stopping that little company from California called Google? I believe that Nashville had OTMR, (One Touch Make Ready) all in place and the judge shot it down. What would the FCC do? What did they do here? It looks like nothing.
Hey, in Nashville they fought hard to get Google to come in and add fiber. For Google, it became a nightmare, as it did for the city as well because the big bad incumbents, Comcast, and AT&T, kept the more popular company, Google, out of their home turf. Did the FCC step in? NO! In fact, they did nothing to help Nashville enforce OTMR. NOTHING! If you think this didn’t have ongoing repercussions, then read on dear fan!
The idea here is that Google realized they were fighting an uphill battle. The dream of fiber everywhere soon dissipated, and Google gave up on the dream. This is Google we’re talking about, not a mom and pop ISP. Google who has billions of dollars. They gave up on running fiber everywhere. They realized that it’s too hard, too expensive, and quite frankly it doesn’t matter how much the hometown supports them, the incumbents have real power to block anyone who gets in their way.
While you see Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint pushing OTMR, the real reason they’re pushing it is to get around the cities, not the incumbents. As you see here, the incumbent was AT&T, not Nashville.
Now, AT&T did lose the battle in Louisville when they tried to stop Google, but was that enough? Apparently not for Google.
Listen, I get frustrated with the permitting and zoning process more than anyone. However, the locals should have a say in what goes within their city limits. To put it bluntly, do you like it when the city requires a permit for you to change your basement into a family room? Of course not. So, as you see, it all ties together. The city wants to know what you’re doing in the basement of your home just like they want to know what goes on the poles in the streets. The difference is, everyone can see the poles and listen to any noise created by equipment on the poles. I get it; this is something out in public for all to see. The only person in your basement will be your family and friends.
While the idea behind the legislation makes sense and is being driven by the carriers, it needs to address some serious flaws. Like, how do you treat the incumbents? So far, the FCC seems to favor them. Is that how the ruling will be handled? Will they favor the incumbents? I would say if the incumbents signed a lease with the city, yes. Even though the report seems to be against the incumbents, we’ll have to wait and see what really happens. There are legal implications here. Legal implications which the city or local utility company agreed to. How will this be handled going forward? I am guessing just like Nashville because it set a precedent. FYI – there are incumbents in every major city, and none of them want any real competition, especially from someone as popular as Google. Hence, Google probably realized this and bailed on the whole fiber plan. So much for any real competition. Don’t worry broadband fans, 5G will change all of this.
I was a fan of Google running fiber everywhere, but if they abandoned the project then you have to think the business plan has some serious flaws. While it is there to make the FCC look like the white knight to the wireless industry, the incumbents will be the real winners. The cities will pay the price based on a federal mandate.
So, what can the FCC do to promote 5G rollouts? How about releasing more 5G spectrum? Get off your asses finalize the CBRS spectrum already, will you? Release more 5G spectrum instead of talking about it. What about the upcoming auctions, what is taking so long? Hell, by the time you do any of that Sprint and T-Mobile will have their 5G mobile systems built, operational, and users on the systems. I see a major competitive advantage for the NEW T-MOBILE! Now nothing will shut John Legere up. Why shouldn’t he brag about being first? He has a good plan, and he participated in the 600MHz auction. Now only that, but Sprint is in a position to dominate with the 2.5GHz spectrum. They have every opportunity to be the 5G primary carrier in 2019 and beyond.
How will that look for Verizon and AT&T, the # 1 and 2 carriers when the #3 and 4 carriers, soon to be a unified strong #3, come out ahead in mobile 5G? It looks like there could soon be a new #2 and possibly #1. Sure, Verizon and AT&T will have the fixed coverage for those few areas that get it. They will be able to supply cable modem speeds to the select few. BUT, the New T-Mobile will have it nearly everywhere in 2020, assuming the merger goes through.
Listen, it’s obvious that fiber won’t be run everywhere, yet. Someday we’ll need more and more of it. While the FCC says they are trying to make it easier, I honestly see it getting easier and easier whether the FCC intervenes or not. Eventually, people will be educated enough to hate the incumbents enough to go with a 5G system. It’s inevitable that change is coming. The only question is, who will offer that broadband coverage to the millennials and Gen X? Who will support the baby boomers? Wireless broadband should mature in 2020, that’s when we’ll see real change in broadband delivery.
I think to look at OTMR as the only solution is a bit ridiculous. We need fiber run to more places, but we have to get creative. Maybe wireless can step up and provide solutions to bypass some of the pole attachments. We can already pass 1Gbps from building to building. Now we have to get up to 100Gbps everywhere, wireless or fiber. We have the technology, we just need the spectrum and out of the box thinking.
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