Google Fiber — Google’s incredible Internet service — is set to make some pretty impressive waves in Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS when it finally rolls out. We know this, Google knows this, the citizens of Kansas City know this, and now it’s apparent that Time Warner and AT&T know this too. See, Google got a series of sweet deals out of Kansas City to build up the infrastructure required to host gigabit Internet connections and the other carriers in the area want a slice of that pie, because of course they do.
Ars Technica explains:
“There are certain portions of the agreement between Google and Kansas City, Kan., that put them at a competitive advantage compared with not just us but also the other competitors in the field,” said Alex Dudley, a Time Warner Cable spokesman, told the WSJ. “We’re happy to compete with Google, but we’d just like an even playing field.”
Of course, nothing stopped those incumbents from trying to innovate and disrupt the local market on their own. And that puts Kansas City—both in Kansas and Missouri—in a much better negotiating position. Time Warner Cable is currently in talks with Kansas City, Missouri, to provide more “community services” and service improvements in exchange for a fee refund and Google-style discounts.
Those poor massive telecommunications companies. Now that Google’s shown up and started cutting deals, they’ll have to rethink their strategies. Then again, that was kind of the whole point.
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