Could Google be your next ISP? Maybe. The company has just announced a trial of its own high-speed network that it plans to offer to “at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.”
Google says it will be capable of delivering speeds more than 100x faster than typical U.S. Internet connections with up to one gigabit per second. It will do so at a “competitive” price.
The next step in getting this potentially massive project off the ground appears to be teaming up with local governments – Google has launched this website and intros “Google Fiber for Communities” in the video below:
Why is Google getting into the ISP business? Here’s the explanation:
“Next generation apps: We want to see what developers and users can do with ultra high-speeds, whether it’s creating new bandwidth-intensive ‘killer apps’ and services, or other uses we can’t yet imagine.
New deployment techniques: We’ll test new ways to build fiber networks, and to help inform and support deployments elsewhere, we’ll share key lessons learned with the world.
Openness and choice: We’ll operate an ‘open access’ network, giving users the choice of multiple service providers. And consistent with our past advocacy, we’ll manage our network in an open, non-discriminatory and transparent way.”
Although it sounds like we’re still some time away from seeing Google’s fiber service available on a massive scale, this could represent a massive shift in the Internet ecosystem. Keep in mind that Google has also recently launched its own Public DNS service, as well as an alternative to HTTP that it calls SPDY. The company clearly thinks it can build a better Internet than the one we have today.
If it’s successful, Google (Google) will not only know what we do on its plethora of services, but also just about everything else we do on the web (especially if Google becomes our ISP). Now, perhaps more than ever, the question of whether or not that’s too much power for one company to have is at the forefront.
Update: Google tells us they “honestly have no plans to build a nationwide network” and offered us this statement: “our goal is to develop a trial network in one or more communities that reaches at least 50,000 people, which will enable experimentation to help make the Internet better and faster.”