Google Announces Plans to deliver Gigabit Internet in the US
2/10/2010 by: Anshel Sag
For those of you unaware, gigabit internet speeds are approximately 10 times faster than the fastest offered consumer internet in the nation. And 100 times faster than most "high speed broadband! offerings by such providers as Comcast, Timewarner, AT&T, Cox, and many more.
Most of these providers give a maximum of about 10 to 15 megabits which usually equate to somewhat reasonable download times, but are still marred by terrible upload speeds. Nevertheless, none of these guys offer anything remotely close to 1 gigabit. A gigabit connection would download a full length HD movie in under 90 seconds [server willing]. Since we doubt that most servers are capable of delivering such speeds, we'll just consider this to be the theoretical maximum speed.
The possibilities for a gigabit home connection are almost limitless. The amount of workroom that a gigabit offers users in bandwidth is so great that one cannot even begin to compute the amount of different data connections a user would have to incur to effectively saturate the entire pipe. Having a gigabit connection would allow for people to communicate with each other using full HD video cameras among other things. Like we said earlier, the possibilities are limitless.
Now, why is Google doing something like this? Well, first of all... it is a little know fact that Google is one of largest investors in Internet backbones worldwide, something we wrote about earlier. Google heavily invested in strengthening links between Japan and the US, and then invested in enhancing the backbone that connects Japan and Singapore, outbound Middle East. We expect to see Google investing in Singapore-Europe connection. Given that North America and Europe are very interconnected, it is our personal feeling that Google won’t invest into the North America-Europe link. However, there is a large market for Google to invest in - its home country. Here if they are the ISP that means that they are also going to be able to see where you are going on the internet, especially if you're using their DNS as the default DNS server. Needless to say, we feel like Google will most likely be putting somewhere in the contract that users who use this service must use Google's DNS or that they consent to Google using their traffic data internally. This will be yet another source of data mining for Google to go through and to gather even more accurate data to serve better ads which could ultimately result in higher click through rates and more money for them. If you felt worried about your privacy with Google scanning your e-mail [if you use Gmail service], Google becoming your default DNS will mean the company will have access to all of your surfing habits.
Another reason for this decision is the problematic blockades that Barrack Obama’s administration faces on an everyday basis. Google probably did this was because of the fact that our government is stuck in a bureaucratic mess of deadlock which is ultimately resulting in non-action in the broadband expansion plans that Barack Obama pushed so hard during his campaign. Maybe Google will beat him to the punch and prove that maybe private business is more effective than the public sector in delivering this promise?
Here is a snippet of Google's blog post on Blogspot: “We're planning to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the United States. We'll deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. We plan to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.
Our goal is to experiment with new ways to help make Internet access better and faster for everyone. Here are some specific things that we have in mind:
• 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.
Like our WiFi network in Mountain View, 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. We don't think we have all the answers – but through our trial, we hope to make a meaningful contribution to the shared goal of delivering faster and better Internet for everyone.
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