Phoenix approves Google Fiber operating license, potentially challenging CenturyLink, Cox Communications

Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) has gotten approval from Phoenix's City Council to light up its 1 Gbps service in the city, should it decide to come there -- paving a potential new challenge to incumbent telco CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and cable operator Cox Communications.

Phoenix follows Tempe and Scottsdale, Ariz., in garnering agreements with Google Fiber. Tempe approved a license agreement in July, while Scottsdale granted a license agreement to Google Fiber in 2014 on "fiber huts," which would house network equipment.

Scottsdale officials told The Arizona Republic that it will consider granting Google Fiber a similar license to that approved by Phoenix.

The Phoenix City Council's approval of this license is the second step in a process that began in 2014 when Google Fiber said it would explore bringing its FTTH service to the three Arizona cities.

Under the terms of the agreement it made with Google Fiber, the service provider would have to meet a number of customer service requirements, including addressing resident complaints if they suffer property damage during the build. In addition, Google Fiber would have to pay 5 percent of its TV revenue to the city and agree to include city access channels in its TV lineup.

Since Google Fiber said it is currently in an "exploration stage regarding its possible expansion to Phoenix," the service provider's application does not address service areas, rates or estimates on how many subscibers it could serve.

Although Google Fiber has yet to make a formal agreement to bring its 1 Gbps service to these Arizona cities, they are trying to make the necessary accommodations to make themselves more attractive targets to build out service.

As a new entrant, Google Fiber would face off with CenturyLink and Cox Communications, two service providers that are already rolling out their own 1 Gbps FTTH services in parts of the state.

CenturyLink began offering its 1 Gbps service to Phoenix businesses last year as part of a broader initiative to serve residential and business customers in select locations in 16 cities. Likewise, Cox Communications also launched a residential service that is leveraging a mix of GPON-based FTTH technology with plans to use DOCSIS 3.1-enabled equipment when it becomes available.

For more:
The Arizona Republic has this article

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