A few months ago, Google introduced its own unique fiber optic TV and internet service by launching it exclusively in Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS. However, the company didn't just pick the two cities at random. Google was given a number of incentives by both cities, and now AT&T and Time Warner are coming forward and demanding that they receive the same incentives as well in the Kansas City area.
Google was allowed to skirt different regulations and be provided with special privileges such as discounted services, free fiber and access to government employees in government buildings. However, AT&T and Time Warner are looking to get that same deal with their respective services as well. It's said that the two companies are negotiating with Kansas City officials for an agreement that would grant the two companies the same benefits Google received.
A Time Warner spokesman said that the incentives Google received put them "at a competitive advantage compared with not just us but also the other competitors in the field." The spokesman also stated, "We're happy to compete with Google, but we'd just like an even playing field." We see where they're coming from, and we think their request for the same benefits as Google is certainly reasonable.
In exchange for the benefits, the two cities are requesting that the AT&T and Time Warner improve their community services to be on par with Google. While AT&T has not announced its progress, Time Warner has apparently already made a deal with Kansas City, MO. It's said that Time Warner has improved its service's speed and performance in the area, and will be getting discounts and benefits from the local government.
[via Wall Street Journal]