The Overland Park City Council approved two agreements Monday night that should end a months-long impasse over the introduction of Google Fiber’s ultra-high-speed Internet and cable TV service.
City Manager Bill Ebel said the agreements allowing Google to build “network huts” on city property and use city infrastructure to string its fiberoptic cable were substantially the same as those that some council members had balked at approving in September.
The following month, Google announced it was, at least temporarily, abandoning plans to build out its network in Overland Park, saying it would work on other area cities first. Some industry analysts saw that as a message for cities not to be too demanding.
The concerns expressed last September mainly dealt with the lack of an explicit $500,000 cap on indemnifying Google for damages in any lawsuit brought by a third party during construction, assuming the city was at fault. A Kansas law says cities cannot be sued for more than $500,000.
An executive summary of the agreements noted that language was added to make clear that the city was not waiving any of its protections under the law.
The agreements included a few other changes, but Mayor Carl Gerlach characterized them as not substantively different.