Laying Of High-Speed Internet Cables By Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google Fiber, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) Damaging Existing Infrastructure
The race to build the infrastructure necessary for high-speed internet in Charlotte has brought with it damage to existing utility infrastructure. It has also caused inconvenience as some roads have had to be closed, and utilities were temporarily unavailable due to the damages wrought on them.
In the last 24 months, contractors hired by firms such as Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) have been laying the networks in Charlotte’s right-of-way, which begins at the curb and stretches to between 8-10 feet into the yards of residents. Google announced its entry into the Charlotte market in early 2015 and the building of the network is in progress. AT&T had announced its entry a little earlier than Google but construction started in mid-2015.
Reimbursements for damages
While the high-speed internet promises to faster connections to the internet and consequently faster downloads of big files such as movies, some residents have been unable to stomach it. Complaints to the city have been increasing by the day. And in the last one and half years, officials in Charlotte have demanded reimbursements of over $630,000 from contractors hired by companies such as AT&T and Google for the damages done to utility lines and property belonging to the city.
High water bills
Some of the most common complaints from residents of Charlotte include trampled yards, cut gas lines, truck-clogged streets, muddy roads, cut water lines, and damaged cable and phone lines. In some instances, residents have had to endure high water bills due to the spillage and wastage resulting from damaged water pipes.
Google has already acknowledged the numerous problems and has promised to minimize the inconveniences as work progresses.
“We want to be good neighbors, so we’re doing everything we can to prevent unnecessary disruptions and resolve issues quickly. Google Fiber and our contractors take all construction-related incidents very seriously,” read a statement from Google.
In the last trading session that took place on December 23, 2016, shares of Alphabet rose by 0.26% to close the day at $809.93. Meanwhile, shares of AT&T Inc declined by 0.19% to close the day at $42.65.