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Google trialing 1Gbps fiber Internet across US

updated 01:10 pm EST, Wed February 10, 2010

Google gigabit would be open, rival FiOS

Google today upturned the US Internet business by promising Google Fiber for Communities. The "experimental" service will give between 50,000 and 500,000 users 1Gbps fiber optic service, or more than 20 times faster than the fastest readily available Internet access in the US. At peak speeds, it would be enough to download a full HD movie in about five minutes and could support such exotic content as 3D video webcasts.

The trial service would be used by Google to test very high-bandwidth Internet apps and would even be used to help other companies, as Google plans to test new techniques for deploying expensive and sometimes fragile fiber. The search giant hopes to defuse controversy early by claiming that its access will be open and use non-punishing network management and even let other providers offer service through the network.

Google doesn't have a timetable for when the first service will be active but is putting out a request to local governments to see which ones are interested in the fiber rollout.

The company has been one of the strongest advocates for widely available broadband and has frequently been the staunchest supporter of net neutrality as an official US government policy, as making both available feeds into Google's core ad and search revenue. A similar approach has led to its offering free Wi-Fi during the holidays and near the Google campus as well as advocating for new technology such as "white space" unlicensed wireless.

Such an attitude has frequently put it at odds with major incumbent cable, DSL and fiber providers. Many of these have lobbied against any plan that would require them to serve more rural areas, which aren't as profitable for providers as cities; in some cases they have filed lawsuits to prevent smaller towns from offering faster, cheaper service even when carriers themselves have declined to provide enough coverage. With the notable exception of Verizon's FiOS, most have also increasingly tried capping and throttling service and have fought publicly against neutrality rules.

by MacNN Staff



  1. The Vicar

    Joined: Dec 1969



    During the 1990s, the U.S. phone companies got some huge amount of money -- hundreds of millions -- as incentives to upgrade the phone system to higher speeds for consumer Internet access. They did nothing. Under Bush, the U.S. phone companies got hundreds of millions more in the form of tax breaks as incentives to upgrade the phone system to higher speeds for consumer Internet access. They did next to nothing.

    Now here's Google. No tax incentives, but they want to run fiber to people's houses.

    Lesson to be learned? No matter whether you like Google or not, they're still better for people than U.S. phone companies.

    Then again, looking at AT&T's performance with the iPhone, that was probably a given already for most of us.

  1. facebook_Doug

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Dec 2010


    Where is KN?

    "Our son is home-schooled through an online school called IQ Academy. Having a super fast, reliable connection would be wonderful to help better his education."
    Topeka, KN

    Hmmm... I'm not sure I could trust Google as an ISP if they don't know Kansas is abbreviated "KS" and not "KN". On the other hand, if the state abbreviation was quoted from the person who wrote-in, then maybe they should stop home schooling their son?

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