WSJ: Google to Announce Fiber in Atlanta

wonder if it's too late for Atlanta to build its own network, like Chattanooga did.

especially considering what Kansas City has given up:

According to its contract, Kansas City must give Google access to its underground conduits, fiber, poles, rack space, nodes, buildings, facilities, and available land. It cannot charge the company for ‘access to or use of any city facilities . . . nor will it impose any permit and inspection fees.’ And what does the city get in return? It has no say in the pricing of Google’s services, nor can it ensure that Google will deliver fiber-optic service to all of the city’s residents. Google’s offices, meeting spaces, and showroom are provided free of charge, and the city pays the company’s electric bill. The mayor, moreover, is barred from commenting on Google’s activities without the express permission of Google So why would an Internet-search company want to spend a fortune to install fiber-optic cable in Kansas City, Missouri, and neighboring Kansas City, Kansas? Freedom from regulatory headaches is one part of the equation: if such networks are the wave of the future, the time to jump in is now, before legislative oversight can ruin the party. But another explanation might be the treasure trove of user-behavior information that such a network represents. Data of this kind is so prized that a company like Google can afford to give away other services for free, as long as this beneficence opens up new markets. In Kansas City, low-income subscribers to the company’s slower, ‘free’ Internet option will be giving Google details about each URL they visit, even if their accounts remain anonymous. And customers who plunk down $120 a month for the ‘Full Google Experience’ will have their television-viewing habits individually tracked by Google’s data-mining elves. Is this a reasonable bargain? For Kansas City, it’s too late to ask. But history—and the success of municipally owned fiber-optic projects throughout the country—strongly suggest that we should look this gift horse in the mouth.

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