City council delays vote on Google, AT&T dispute

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by KVUE.com

kvue.com

Posted on December 12, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 12 at 7:13 PM

AUSTIN -- The city council was set to settle a dispute between AT&T and Google over access to Austin's utility poles, but the vote was postponed.

Google wants to string some of its fiber lines on AT&T poles that sit on Austin city land, but AT&T won't allow it. The city could require AT&T to allow Google to use the poles by changing city code.

AT&T spokesperson Tracy King issued a statement today applauding the city for mediating the business agreement.

"We applaud the Austin City Council for encouraging companies to come to business agreements instead of implementing prescriptive ordinances," King said in the statement. "We have agreed with Google to begin negotiations and to seek to achieve an agreement that embodies the spirit of the law while delivering the benefit of true competition for Austin's high speed internet access. Yesterday, we launched our U-verse with GigaPower service and eagerly await Google joining us in the market."

Google spokesperson Jenna Wandres also released a statement on the council's mediation.

"We'd be thrilled to reach this outcome, regardless of whether it comes about from a city council ordinance or from signing reasonable pole attachment agreements with pole owners."

The council rescheduled the item to be discussed at its Jan. 23 meeting. There are still a few controversial issues to be discussed at Thursday's city council meeting, which is the final meeting of the year.
 

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