Google's iProvo purchase draws fire from Utah-based XMission

Google Fiber's (Nasdaq: GOOG) move to acquire iProvo, a Utah-based municipal fiber to the home (FTTH) network, for $1 is facing criticism from an independent ISP, XMission, which said the city is giving Google the ability to become a monopoly.

XMission, which offers services on the 16-city UTOPIA municipal network, had tried unsuccessfully to get wholesale access to the iProvo network in 2008.

"The most unfortunate aspect of this deal is that cities will continue to lobby Google to monopolize their fiber service, and after the necessary deep concessions, Google will accept," wrote Pete Ashdown, founder and CEO of XMission, in a blog post. "Someday the US may wake up and find that we've installed another communications giant that needs to be broken up. I have lobbied hard for the past decade for open municipal fiber infrastructure, and will continue to do so, but so far, that idea is shrinking rather than growing."

Prior to selling the iProvo network to Google, XMission tried to strike a wholesale deal with the city, talks that fell through after the city announced it was selling the network to Broadweave in 2008. Later, the city repurchased the iProvo network and leased it to Veracity.

Despite making promises that its network would be open to other providers, Google changed its mind when it launched its FTTH service in Kansas City.

"Even though Google is promising a number of upgrades to iProvo, having a government sanctioned monopoly for $1 is a sweet deal that would have never been offered to a local provider like XMission," wrote Ashdown. "Those upgrades will be paid for by subscriber fees, and Google will make a profit. They wouldn't be doing this otherwise, nor would I."

For more:
- see the blog post

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