Mediacom Asking FCC to Investigate West Des Moines-Google Internet Deal


DES MOINES, Iowa - Mediacom is asking for a federal investigation of West Des Moines' deal with Google to build a broadband network in the city.

It claims the agreement illegally gives Google a monopoly on internet services in West Des Moines.

Mediacom's filing with the Federal Communications Commission comes after it sued the city in December to blocked the partnership with Google.

Mediacom has offices in West Des Moines that employ hundreds of workers.

The petition to the FCC claims the $50 million agreement violates Section 253 of the Communications Act of 1934.

It says the agreement allows Google to install a network with technology that blocks competitors from offering their services.

The filing also says the agreement was made with a Google lobbyist who sits on the West Des Moines City Council, and that Google used the West Des Moines mayor's real estate company to obtain office space in the city.

“The City and its leaders have intermingled their financial and personal interests with Google Fiber, and as a result the City has deliberately and unlawfully put a heavy thumb on the scale in favor of Google Fiber,” the petition said.

West Des Moines announced its partnership with Google Fiber last July to construct the high-speed network to bring gigabit speed capacity to the city. A news release from the city said the network would be "open access" for internet providers.

Mediacom wants the FCC to instruct the city to halt construction of the network, and have the exclusive arrangement with Google altered to allow competition.