Why Calif. was never considered for Google’s Fiber to the Home

Richard Whitt, Director/Managing Counsel, Telecom and Media Policy at Google, Inc. on the closing keynote panel of the recent 10th Annual 2011 Fiber to the Home Conference in Florida, plainly revealed why any possible Fiber to the Home projects in California were summarily dismissed:

“Google prides itself in being a very green company and take steps to be environmentally sound… And yet we identified this issue in California where there is the statute called CEQA [California Environmental Quality Act].

It’s basically a multi agency process reviewing whether any construction project of a certain size has ‘any possibility of an environmental impact’. The basic terms around that are not defined and the process can take months and sometimes years.

Milo [ Milo Medlin, Google's VP of Access Services] identified this for the team early on and said ‘even if we are looking at some places in California that might be suitable properties for this business proposition — I can’t justify it. I have a P&L. We’re not just doing this out of the goodness in our hearts. We’re trying to make a business out of this, we want to prove that the model works. Given the current state of affairs in California, that’s not going to be the case.’

That has sparked some fruitful initial conversations with some of the policy makers in California to identify this. It’s not that we’re trying to avoid environmental standards, we’re trying to find ways to have more certainty and in the process have a process that a company can navigate successfully to move forward with a project.”

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6 comments to Why Calif. was never considered for Google’s Fiber to the Home

  • Interesting, and somewhat understandable – if they are looking for a demonstration project, they want to move quickly. It would have been nice, however, if they had made it clear that CA would not be considered so people didn’t waste their time!

  • Dale

    Googles response was devoid of specifics, hoping to satisfy interested parties with a gloss-over reference to regulatory hurdles and leaving the rest to our imagination.

    Good policy starts with good analysis, which in turns comes from a discovery process. Google and other companies have found CA an unfriendly state and the state continues to hemorrage jobs and entire corporate headquaters to states like Texas which has discovered they can become a beacon of creativity and business development for the likes of HP. Taxes are just one cost factor businesses must consider; complying with regulation is another factor, and it’s just possible that we have allowed an overzealous enthusiasm to protect the public from themselves that it ulitmately will cost the state it’s most precious commodity – the people that make this state what it is.

  • Michael Anderson

    This clearly violates Google’s self-professed mission to “Do No Evil.”

    And like Nick said, they wasted our time.

    I would also agree that CEQA needs to be reformed. In fact, the entire California Code should be reviewed and streamlined ASAP.

  • dave

    I live in sacramento ca and I think at the least they should put fiber here cause comcast sucks most people here hate comcast and would support google who cares about ca codes

  • Once again California shows how really ignorant they really are. Driving business and people from the State. As the Great Philsoopher ” Forrest Gump ” states Stupid is .. Is stupid does”
    Case in point = California

    Insanity : Doing the same thing over & over again & expecting a different result … Albert Einstein

  • Jonny

    Don’t blame Google. California is incompetent. And is totally anti-business. But the “green” lobbying is totally out of control in California. These nutjobs will boycott, lobby against, and bully anything that will “damage” some ugly family of shrubs or “endanger” some abundant species being roadkilled everyday.

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