Google knows all about dealing with regulations. The company seems to be up against various governments all the time, mostly over privacy issues revolving around cookies, Street View, or just how much Google
knows about you. The company also had to deal with a fair amount of red tape when setting up its Fiber initiative in Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS. But according to a new report from the region, things could've been much stickier had it gone for a triple-play bundle.
Right now, those in the the two cities can grab a fiber-based TV and Internet package from Google. Pricing is outstanding, and speed / quality is insane. Those two cities are the envy of the Internet nation right now. But one thing you can't buy is Google phone service, which is commonly offered from rivals like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Time Warner Cable. So, why the omission? According to Milo Medin, vice president of Google Access Services: "We looked at doing that. The cost of actually delivering telephone services is almost nothing. However, in the United States, there are all of these special rules that apply."
Basically, he blamed regulations for steering them clear of it. But the reality may be something a little different. While we have no doubts that there are tons of regulations to comply with if providing home-based phone service, Google is careful in how it pushes (or "lobbies") the government around. It's also probably not prudent for Google, an innovator in the space, to offer a flagging technology like in-home phone service. With mobile connections skyrocketed and landline sales on decline, why would Google plop its eggs in that basket?