CEQA chases awesome Google project to Missouri, Texas

April 13, 2013

By Chris Reed

google-fiberA really cool project conceived of and developed by Google in Silicon Valley isn’t going to do Californians any good in the short term. It is Google Fiber — the search giant’s experimental Internet infrastructure that can go 100 times the speed of regular broadband.

The first city Google brought the project to was Kansas City, Mo., where residents love Fiber and its reasonable cost. This week, Google announced the second city to get this amazing treat was Austin, Tex.

Why no Cali in the mix? In a development that will surprise only Democrats in the Legislature and denizens of faculty lounges, it is the California Environmental Quality Act. Google Fire BP Milo Medlin explains:

“Many fine California city proposals for the Google Fiber project were ultimately passed over in part because of the regulatory complexity here brought about by CEQA [California Environmental Quality Act] and other rules. Other states have equivalent processes in place to protect the environment without causing such harm to business processes, and therefore create incentives for new services to be deployed there instead.”

Here’s what we’re missing:

“Ryan Carpenter still speaks in amazed tones of the December night when he simultaneously streamed four high-definition TV shows (two Christmas specials, an episode of The Office, and a Kansas University basketball game), recording three of them on the included two-terabyte DVR. That’s two more shows than he could previously watch at once, with plenty of capacity to spare. ‘It just blows my mind — we can be running video via Wi-Fi on two smartphones and on two laptops, and also be watching and recording TV shows all at the same time,’ he says. ‘It’s a vastly superior service.’ And that’s even without touching high-bandwidth Web apps that work seamlessly at superfast speeds, such as 3-D maps of cities that have imperceptible load times. … Google’s supercharged service is priced at just $70 per month, or $120 with bundled television, plus tax.”

Wow. CEQA should be a curse word.

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