Google Goes Broadband?


March 2, 2010

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Google Goes Broadband?Google has announced that it will be starting a new venture, this time in the network provider’s realm. They released a statement that they wish to provide ultra high-speed broadband to up to 500,000 homes in the United States. But is an undertaking this massive even viable? Or are they just pulling our leg? I’ll review a little more information, and you be the judge…

As with many of Google’s projects, they have created a landing page with more information about their broadband ventures. This page includes a video announcing their plans and inviting you to learn more and get involved. It also states that community officials will need to approve the fibre-laying process to get this high-speed broadband network built in communities throughout the US. Here’s the full announcement by Google:

“Today, we’re announcing our plans to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in the United States. We plan to provide fiber to the home service with speeds up to one gigabyte per second for at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people. In the selected locations, we’ll offer internet connections up to 100 times faster than many Americans have have access to today, and at competitive prices. We’re doing this because we want to experiment with new ways to make the web better and faster for everyone, allowing applications that will be impossible today. We also want to try out new ways to build and operate fiber networks and share what we learn with the world. Finally, we’re going to operate Open Access Networks. Meaning, we’ll share our network with other service providers giving users more choice. We want to get started as quickly as possible. And we need to find the right community partners for it to succeed. If you’re a state, county, or city official, you can express your interest in the project by answering some questions online at our project website. And if you’re not a city official, you can still nominate your community. Working with the right community partners, we look forward to seeing what’s possible. Please visit our website and get involved.”

Seems pretty cool, right? It’s a great way for us to push the boundaries and find new technology that will make our internet experience 100 times faster, more reliable, and overall better! But is it really a viable option? Google states that city and county officials need to get involved – and of course they will need to, on every level. They’ll need to approve digging up the streets or sidewalks necessary to install the fiber pipings (of course, based on the community residents’ approval), appropriate the funds necessary to repair the damaged property, and review detailed plans to make sure they meet city or county construction rules and regulations. Installing new fiber optics cables for up to 500,000 homes nationwide is not an easy undertaking! Of course, if Google could get communities in rural areas that don’t already have an internet connection, that would be the best bet. Even better, they could petition communities that are currently in early stages of development, and install the wiring before the buildings are built.

But is all the hassle worth it to Google? They say it’s important to them to “experiment with new ways to make the web better and faster for everyone, allowing applications that will be impossible today.” Well, I suppose they could do that just by saying they’re going to, but not ever accomplishing the task itself. Because Google is such a world leader and powerful voice in the technology world, other tech companies listen up when Google talks. Companies like Cox, Verizon, and others, hear Google say it’s getting into the networking business – and they start whipping into shape as fast as they can, otherwise they’re at risk of losing their market share to Google. So even if Google never follows through, the other broadband companies have already done some spring cleaning and improved their web services nationwide.

Google has challenged other companies to revamp their business models and products before. In 2008, it came out with a new smartphone that would rock iPhone’s prominent standing in the smartphone business. Google also bid in a wireless spectrum auction just to loosen control that phone carriers would have over the airwaves. In these cases, Google’s announcements became reality – but does this mean they are actually going to pursue the broadband scene?

Google has made some jokes about providing network services, leaving me to wonder if they take it seriously: This page features toilet humor (literally!) and informs people that they can get free tisp from Google by installing wires into their toilet. Curiouser and curiouser! Now, we can’t be certain if this is Google’s way of saying their entire broadband campaign is a joke, or if they’re simply lashing out to those that have incorrectly reported that Google’s going to provide broadband for free.

Will Google become a broadband giant? Or will this idea be flushed down the toilet? Either way, we all hope that the internet will be better for it. Only time will tell.

By: Professional Custom Web Design in Southern California | Jackie Taferner | JT Website Design – JT Website Design specializes in professional custom website design, flash animation, ecommerce website services, and more. Located in Southern California (SoCal).

Jackie Taferner

Jackie Taferner has over 15 years experience in website design and development. Jackie has a wide range of expertise, from PHP code development to marketing strategy, and enjoys working on challenging, creative, and unique projects.



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