Google: America is Desperate for Better Internet…and 15 Minutes of Fame

by Matt Klassen on March 30, 2010

Recently Google announced its intention to start trials for its revolutionary and mind-bogglingly fast 1GB/sec experimental fiber optic network in select communities across the country. The search engine giant then asked for communities to submit applications in an effort to find locales that met Google’s predetermined test parameters; what they got instead was a de facto version of American’s Funniest Home Videos meets American Idol.

In response to Google’s call for submissions, reports indicate that over 1100 communities from across the nation responded to the call, indicating, as Google product manager James Kelly noted in a blog post late last week that “people across the country are hungry for better and fast Internet access.” What’s even more amazing is that 500 of these communities applied in the final few hours of the competition, which closed on Friday evening.

With proposals ranging from the spontaneous to the downright crazy [click here to see a small selection] Google’s competition demonstrated once again that while people may be desperate for better Internet, they’re even more desperate for their 15 minutes of fame.

Google has stated that its intention is to setup the lightning fast network in a number of small locales, making the state-of-the-art technology available to between 50,000 and 500,000 people, depending on how many suitable locations are discovered. While it will take Google several months to wade through the deluge of applications, it seems that we’ll know who the lucky few will be by the end of the year at the latest.

Through this whole process Google has continued to adamantly deny that they are adding Internet service provider to their ever growing list of services, stating that the preliminary roll-out and continued development of a 1GB/sec fiber optic network is simply an experiment; a test to see just how far and how high network speeds can reach. 

“Network providers are making real progress to expand and improve high-speed Internet access, but there’s still more to be done,” the company recently said. “We don’t think we have all the answers – but through our [network] trial, we hope to make a meaningful contribution to the shared goal of delivering faster and better Internet for everyone.”

So if Google is to be believed and they aren’t going into the Internet service provider business, what does this overtly altruistic gesture of technological advancement really mean for the search engine giant and for the world of wireless Internet?

The benefits to Google, even if they eventually sell the technology to an established provider, are readily apparent. By increasing the internet speeds for regular wired users you streamline the internet experience, allowing for more people to use Google to make more searches, and thus allowing Google to further capitalize on advertisement revenues. You didn’t think Google was breaking through the ceiling of internet speeds to help humanity did you?

Clearly, with this announcement a challenge has been presented to the wireless world. With most major wireless carriers creating 3G and 4G networks that just now are reaching the bottom end of wired data transfer rates, the bar has now been set just that much higher, and while it will certainly be several years before any wireless provider even comes close to matching what Google is trying to do, hopefully this experiment will motivate them to dedicate significant resources to the task.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS >, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

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