Larry Press: Cable Companies Pressure Google Fiber, Municipal Broadband

Written by Larry Press

Google Fiber is expanding nationwide. Naturally, cable companies aren’t very happy. Larry Press explains. — Google Fiber started in Kansas City, MO, but it has since spread to surrounding cities. There is speculation that the service will eventually expand nationwide (Olathe, for example, will be the first Google Fiber community in the state of Kansas).

Image credit: Larry Press

Image credit: Larry Press

Naturally, cable companies don’t like this development. They’ve banded together to introduce a bill in the Kansas Legislature to prohibit cities from offering (or partnering to offer) Internet service.

Officially, the bill is called the “Municipal Communications Network and Private Telecommunications Investment Safeguards Act.” But opponents have suggested that it should be called the “Incumbent Telecommunications Company Protection Act.” (I know how these things turn out. I worked on a municipal network in Hermosa Beach, CA, that was stopped in 2006 when a local cable company put pressure on the City Council.)

Congress, itself, attempted to encourage competition with the Telecommunications Act back in 1996. This is just the latest in an endless string of court and legislative battles waged by incumbent phone and cable companies to thwart the will of Congress and stifle competition.

For, I’m Larry Press.

Based in Los Angeles, Larry Press is a founding senior editor covering tech here at He’s also a professor of information systems at California State University at Dominguez Hills. Check his Google+ profile — he’s at +Larry Press — or email him at