By Fox Van Allen, Techlicious

In today’s business climate, it’s pretty rare for a company to lobby the government for more federal regulation. But according to The Wall Street Journal, that’s exactly what Internet giant Google is asking of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The company filed a public comment (PDF) with the agency last week requesting that broadband Internet providers such as Google Fiber be classified and regulated as Title II utilities.

Google’s request doesn’t just come out of the blue. In November 2014, President Obama made a public statement in support of net neutrality, the principle that the Internet should be free and open, without paid prioritization, blocking or throttling of select content. For the FCC to be able to enforce these pro-consumer safeguards, broadband Internet service first needs Title II utility status.

If regulated as a Title II utility, Google Fiber broadband service would be subject to pricing and service quality stipulations set by the federal government. But the service would also reap benefits too. Google would also have access rights to the nation’s network of utility poles. This is no small point: Running wire over utility poles costs 90% less than running wire underground, as Google Fiber currently operates.

[Worker on utility pole via Shutterstock]

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