Charter: City Giving Google Fiber Unfair Edge

An anonymous reader writes: Louisville’s largest cable and internet provider says the city is giving Google Fiber an unfair advantage, and it wants Mayor Greg Fischer to step in and ease key regulations in the coming weeks. In a July 28 letter, Charter Communications told Fischer the city’s separate franchise agreements allow Google to operate under less burdensome rules despite the two companies offering local customers similar services. “There is no justification for different regulatory treatment,” said Jason Keller, Charter’s government liaison. The letter was addressed to Fischer, the 26-member Metro Council and more than five dozen other mayors representing smaller suburban cities. Charter representatives claim unlike Google, it is obligated to pay money to the city above and beyond the millions in tax proceeds Louisville receives; to provide free internet and cable television to dozens of city-owned buildings; and provide costly government channels, as well as a studio for public access channels. Kellie Watson, Fischer’s general counsel, said in a statement that Charter “raised some interesting issues and ideas” but that the administration will need to consult with the county attorney’s office given the franchise agreement involves federal regulations.

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