AT&T has just filed a lawsuit against Nashville to stop a new rule, which was designed to speed up the Google Fiber deployment. The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court in Nashville and it was passed just a couple of days after the Nashville Metro Council passed a “One Touch Make Ready” rule.
The “One Touch Make Ready” rule allowed faster access for new ISPs to the utility poles. The rule allowed a single company to make all necessary wire arrangements on utility poles by themselves, rather than waiting for major companies such as Comcast and AT&T to send their crews to move the wires and do other necessary work.
The lawsuit from AT&T claims that the rule was preempted by Federal Communications Commission pole attachment regulations. They further added that the rule disregards and violates their long lasting pole attachment contract with Nashville. AT&T also added that they want the officials to declare that the recently passed ordinance is unlawful. Reports say that AT&T is also looking for a permanent injection to prevent the practice of this ordinance.
AT&T argued by stating that the Nashville ordinance lets companies “temporarily seize AT&T’s property, and… alter or relocate AT&T’s property, without AT&T’s consent and with little notice. AT&T would be deprived of an adequate opportunity to assess the potential for network disruption caused by the alteration or relocation, and to specify and oversee the work on AT&T’s own facilities to ensure any potential for harm to its network, including harm to the continuity and quality of service to its customers, is minimized.”
AT&T has also complained that the crewmembers of Google Fiber do not follow the safety codes and outlined the potential consequences, which might happen due to it. In the complaint, AT&T wrote that, “If a copper feeder cable were damaged, 1,000 or more residential customers could lose service, and business customers without redundant service would also lose service.”
“Some of AT&T’s aerial fiber facilities are used to provide high-capacity switched Ethernet services to various customers including police and fire stations, and to wireless carriers that use the fiber to carry wireless traffic to and from their cell towers. Damage to these facilities could knock out service to emergency responders, and take a cell tower out of service,” AT&T added.
AT&T also reminded the officials that their contract with Nashville Electric Service allowed them to “place, maintain, rearrange, transfer, and remove its own attachments. Nothing in this contract permits Metro Nashville to rearrange or transfer AT&T’s facilities (except in the event of an emergency) or to grant third parties such rights.”