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Google launch a 1Gbps fibre broadband 'experiment'
Thursday 11 February 2010 01:00:59 by John Hunt

Google are moving in to the Fibre broadband market with what they call an 'experiment' which will deliver 1Gbps fibre broadband at competitive prices to at least 50,000 and up to 500,000 people in the US. Google say they are looking to help make Internet access better and faster for everyone and hope that this project will achieve three specific goals.

  • 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 fibre 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.

Whilst this experiment is based in the US, it may still yield benefits for us in Britain if it provides new innovative ways to build fibre optic networks. The main issue holding back a full fibre deployment in the UK is the estimated cost. BT cannot justify it to shareholders and the government has many more pressing concerns, so we are left with a stop gap solution where we are using fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) with VDSL2 which can't meet the speeds the industry thinks we'll need in a few years' time, whilst other countries are racing ahead with fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) deployments. Rolling out FTTC as an interim measure does present a risk of decreasing the marginal returns of full FTTH rollout, which may put back the day when every home in the UK is connected directly onto a fibre optic network. Equally, others could argue that by demonstrating the benefits of faster broadband services, it is more likely that applications will become available that make use of such fast networks, driving demand for faster broadband.

Comments

Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
Go Google. They can obviously afford such an "experiment" with little risk as they are so loaded. It'll be interesting to see where this goes, the downside of the experiment is the cost, one of the major factors in rolling out FTTH is cost and making a profit out of it because people will want faster but won't want to pay much (if any) more money for it, as Google don't really care about that aspect of it (I doubt they do anyway its an experiment after all that they could just write off) that side of it won't be factored in.
Posted by cjbell68 over 7 years ago
Perhaps I have it wrong, but I bet the first post is spam and needs removing :)
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
First post has been removed, yes it was spam
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
@GMAN99:Actually the downside is that it's Google :)
Posted by doddspeed1 over 7 years ago
Lets just do it. Every time that someone says that the existing technology is at its limit (dial up, modems etc etc) someone finds a way to sqeeze more out of it using better encoding, cleverer compaction and other methods. At least a FFTC allows a 'close' to home fibre and other suppliers will come in to bridge that last small gap at ever increasing speeds which will I am sure nearly match the FTTH we are looking at now.
Posted by doowles over 7 years ago
Gotta love google, open access and pioneering innovative work. Why are more companies not like this?
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
Google CEO's opinions on privacy are most concerning though.

Guess you'd just have to use a VPN...
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
@doowles:Er...no. Google is not to be trusted these days. IMO they are worse than Microsoft. At least MS is pretty open about its agenda. We all know where they stand.

Google OTOH claims to be open and transparent but isn't really. Handle with care :-/
Posted by matbarrie over 7 years ago
Good bye BT snail
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
"Why are more companies not like this? " Because Google don't have to worry about turning a profit, its an experiment one they can afford to have go wrong and loose all the money they put into it on.
Posted by k2150 over 7 years ago
Google must have tons of cash ... wot's next google to launch a satellite, google daytrips to Mars. If they really wanted to be benevolent Internet philanthropists they should kick this project off in the UK, we need it more than the yanks.
Posted by k2150 over 7 years ago
Google must have tons of cash ... wot's next google to launch a satellite, google daytrips to Mars. If they really wanted to be benevolent Internet philanthropists they should kick this project off in the UK, we need it more than the yanks.
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