Google Fiber gets good government regulation

Google Fiber has set up for itself a relatively good framework of government regulation in Kansas City.  Some regulatory advantages of Google’s choice of Kansas City:

  1. Google Fiber chose Kansas City from among more than 1000 cities that actively sought Google Fiber.  Kansas City’s actively expressed interest in getting Google Fiber indicates that the city governments will be relatively amenable to Google Fiber’s needs.
  2. Google isn’t providing telephone service.  Telephone service is predominantly regulated at the state and federal level.  Selecting among interested cities does less to get a favorable state regulatory framework.
  3. Kansas City actually consists of two adjacent city jurisdictions — Kansas City, Missouri; and Kansas City, Kansas.  Google Fiber thus has two chances for good regulation.  Moreover, it can easily compare the effects of regulation across jurisdictions.  In addition, it can shift its network build across jurisdictions if regulatory differences (local and state) become highly significant.

Government regulation is one among many challenges in building and operating communications networks.  Just as competition among businesses to serve customers typically benefits customers, competition among governments to encourage broadband typically benefits broadband providers.  If governments compete wisely, that competition will also benefit the public.

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