Google Fiber’s Medin, Kish to leave division

Google Fiber is realigning its management ranks once again, shuffling Milo Medin, a VP at Access, and Dennis Kish, president of Google Fiber, out of the division.

Medin and Kish will remain in some undisclosed role at Google Fiber’s parent company Alphabet.

A spokesman from Alphabet’s Access division confirmed the management change to Bloomberg, but would not provide additional details about the changes.

Related: Google Fiber cancels some installations in Kansas City

Kish came to Google Fiber in 2014 from Qualcomm, working closely with former Google Fiber CEO Craig Barratt, who left in October 2016.

When Barratt left the company, Google Fiber said it was halting its fiber broadband roll-out in the United States. Specifically, Google Fiber put a hold on expansions in eight major urban markets while laying off about 10% of its staff.

More recently, Google Fiber canceled some planned installations in Kansas City—the first market where it began offering service.

Medin joined Google Fiber in 2010. He was recently named to the FCC’s newly created Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee.

Fixed wireless experiments

Besides Google Fiber’s FTTH build, Medin had oversaw Alphabet’s more experimental efforts to use millimeter wave wireless spectrum as a complementary method to laying fiber.

As part of its wireless networking efforts, Google Fiber acquired Webpass in 2016. Webpass mainly focuses on providing Ethernet-based services to businesses using a mix of fiber and broadband wireless technologies.

The service provider also does provide 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps fiber-based residential broadband speeds in select markets.

Google Fiber has not indicated if its fixed wireless effort will move to another part of Alphabet.

Pole attachment woes

While Google Fiber has raised awareness on the value of high speed broadband services, the service provider became entangled in legal battles with incumbent telcos and cable operators over utility pole access. Being able to access existing utility poles allows new service providers like Google Fiber to avoid digging up streets to lay fiber to homes.

The service provider called upon city leaders in two cities – Louisville, Kentucky and Nashville, Tennessee – to adopt a simplified pole attachment process that it called one touch make ready (OTMR).

OTMR is designed to streamline a city's utility pole attachment process. The traditional “make ready” rules requires Google Fiber to notify NES (the Nashville Electric Service of the need to make space for its cables, which would require NES to contact AT&T and Comcast to execute the actual work.

AT&T later sued Nashville over the passage of the Google Fiber-backed OTMR utility pole attachment ordinance.

The service provider said in its suit (PDF) that was filed last September against that the Nashville city council overstepped its boundaries in enacting a reformed pole attachment process, adding that only the FCC can regulate privately owned utility poles.

In February, AT&T also filed a suit against the city of Louisville, Kentucky, saying that the OTMR proposal violates a number of state and federal laws.

The telco's chief concerns were that Google Fiber’s proposal would not only rob its union network technicians of work, but it also could interrupt existing service if the service provider mistakenly damaged a line.

Joining AT&T in its battle over Google Fiber’s OTMR proposal was Comcast. Comcast told Google Fiber in a letter last August that contractors caused damage to its equipment during another installation. James Weaver, a Comcast lobbyist, told Google Fiber that the mistakes those contractors have made illustrate that no other contractors besides Comcast’s should be able to move their lines and equipment on existing utility poles.