Google Fiber set out to disrupt the ISP industry eight years ago, but has since scaled down its ambitions. Among other factors, physically deploying fiber served as a big obstacle to Google’s plans. The FCC is now set to approve a system that could increase high-speed broadband deployment across the United States.
According to Google, entering the ISP business was always going to be “hard, slow, and expensive,” but it “didn’t fully appreciate” how time-consuming placing new communications equipment on telephone polls would be.
One particular challenge revolves around making poles ready for new attachments. This “make ready” work has to be done to make room for new attachers’ equipment. The current system for make ready is done sequentially, and often involves multiple crews visiting the same pole several times over many months. This results in long delays, inflated costs and a frustrated community.
However, there is an alternate solution called One Touch Make Ready (OTMR) that the FCC is set to institute as a national system. It involves the new attacher opting to “perform all work to prepare a pole for a new attachment.”
This saves time and reduces cost by “allowing the party with the strongest incentive to prepare the pole to efficiently perform the work itself,” according to the FCC, “rather than spreading the work across multiple parties.”
OTMR is a common sense policy that will dramatically improve the ability of new broadband providers to enter the market and offer competitive service, reducing delays and lowering costs by allowing the necessary work on utility poles to be done much more efficiently. This also means fewer crews coming through neighborhoods and disrupting traffic, making it safer for both workers and residents.
According to Google, the FCC is “poised to pass” this rule, and “fully support[s]” the agency’s move. The FCC is scheduled to consider OTMR and “Wireline Infrastructure” during an August 2nd Open Commission meeting.