The Untold Story of the Google Gigabit Network Project

Have you heard the one about Google wanting to come to your hometown to build a gigabit fiber network?

Google says they want to do this as an experiment. They want to trial new methods for building networks. They want to see what emerges where high-bandwidth networks are available.

That's what they say. Don't you believe it for a second.

Yes, this is indeed a trial, but what Google is trialing here isn't technology so much as policy.

The incumbent broadband providers have told the regulators that they are hobbled by old infrstructure, and can't afford to deploy new technologies such as "fiber to the home" and DOCSIS 3.0. The incumbent providers are saying that bandwidth is scarce and consumers are eating too much, so networks must be monitored and metered and managed. They are saying they cannot open their broadband networks to competitors and remain economically viable.

Google is calling bullshit on them.

Google is betting they can build a commercially viable broadband network from the ground up, make it completely open, and offer bandwidth so enormous it's senseless to meter. In other words, they want to build a network that offers everything we are asking for, but the incumbent providers say can't be done. Google is calling their bluff.

This issue is critically important for the future of Google. Right now, they are at the mercy of a few broadband providers who are in a position to dictate how well a network performs and how much it costs. If we lose the "network neutrality" battle, those providers may even dictate what you can do with those networks. This control is a threat to the viability and profitability of Google's mainstream products.

The ecosystem in which Google would flourish is one in which bandwidth is plentiful, cheap, and bereft of gatekeepers. The current regulatory apparatus, which has been so successfully captured by incumbent providers, is preventing that from happening.

Google isn't looking to get into the network biz. And they aren't doing this to be nice. They are hoping that if the experiment is a success, it will effect a (monumental) shift in policy that supports their current mainstream online business. Their business will benefit enormously if they are successful at changing broadband policy.

The thing is, broadband users stand to benefit even more. So that's why I say, "Go! Go! Google!"


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Typical of any "Utility" Oh

Typical of any "Utility" Oh we can't afford that,,,,,,that can't be done etc. We good for Google I call BULLSHIT as well

Great Post