Google To Jump Into Ultra Fast Broadband Market

Plans to test high speed broadband connections in multiple locations throughout the U.S.

February 12, 2010

D.H. Kass

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Google Inc. said that it plans to launch a pilot program to deliver ultra fast broadband service, sporting speeds up to 100 times faster than what it said most people currently receive, to as many as 500,000 users in multiple locations across the country.

The company said it will experiment with bringing high speed broadband access, at speeds up to 1 gigabit per second, in a select number of communities in the U.S. The company publicly requested proposals from state, county or city government officials to participate in the project.

“We plan to provide fiber to the home service with speeds up to 1 gigabit per second for at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people,” said James Kelly, a Google product manager, in a video blog post.

“In the select locations we’ll offer internet connections up to 100 times faster than many Americans have access to today and at competitive prices.”

Kelly said that Google intends to tinker with new ways to build and operate a high speed broadband network and that it will open access to other service providers. The company said it will invite developers to create new, “broadband intensive” applications and services.

“We’re doing this because we want to experiment with new ways to make the web better and faster for everyone allowing applications that would be impossible today,” he said.

“We also want to try out new ways to build and operate fiber networks and share what we learn with the world. We’re going to operate open access networks meaning we’ll share our network with other service providers giving users more choice.”

Julius Genachowski, Federal Communications Commission chairman, praised the planned effort.

"Big broadband creates big opportunities,” Genachowski said in a statement. “This significant trial will provide an American test bed for the next generation of innovative, high-speed Internet apps, devices, and services.”

Google, which has been operating a free, Wi-Fi network at company headquarters in Mountain View, CA for some time, compared this initiative to that one.

In noting the similarities, Kelly posted that the “purpose of this project is to experiment and learn.”

“Network providers are making real progress to expand and improve high-speed Internet access but there’s still more to be done,” he said.

TAGS: Google,broadband,network,fiber,high speed

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