Google to Build Broadband Network

After years of buying up fiber lines, Google has announced it will build a high-speed broadband network. PCWorld’s Mark Sullivan has more:

Google said Wednesday it will build a series of “ultra high-speed” fiber optic broadband networks that will pump out 1GB bps (bit per second) connections to the lucky “50,000 to 500,000 people” within their reach.

Google says it will use an open access model, where the owner of the network sells wholesale space on the network to third party ISPs, who will then sell broadband service to consumers under their own flag. Here’s Google’s own description of the plan.

The announcement comes right on the heels of the federal government releasing the first round of funding for broadband networks to rural and underserved areas. It appears to be intended as an adjunct to the FCC’s own Broadband Plan, as if to say: “See, you can do it like this.”

Google hopes that the new model will fire up the business of being a small, local ISP. That can only be good. The regulators have allowed the huge ISPs (AT&T, Verizon et al) to dominate the broadband business with sheer scale, forcing the smaller guys out. Imagine buying internet service from Bob’s ISP at a reasonable price; oh, and you get 1GB of throughput.

Buying affordable Internet from a local provider would be nice. If this is Google’s own small-business stimulus plan, I agree with author Mark Sullivan–I hope it works out.