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http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2010-02-10-google-broadband_N.htm

Google on Wednesday vowed to build and test a rocket-fast Internet service to as many as 500,000 people, positioning the search giant as a potential rival to cable and phone companies.

Google said it intends to build in a few trial communities a fiber-optic network that can transmit 1 gigabit of data per second — fast enough to deliver a high-definition movie in five minutes. Typical cable and phone broadband services transmit 5 megabits per second, which can mean hours for such a download.

"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," the company said in an announcement on its blog. It says it wants software developers to come up with applications, including "uses we can't yet imagine."

Google didn't say how much it would invest. It asked local officials to apply before March 26 to have the network in their communities.

The company says it will allow other Internet providers to use its system. Advocates of network neutrality — where providers treat all websites equally — said the test could prove it's possible to profit from a competitively priced service on an open system.

"Big broadband creates big opportunities," Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski said. "This significant trial will provide an American test bed for the next generation of innovative, high-speed Internet apps, devices and services."

Andrew Schwartzman, CEO of the Media Access Project, a public interest law firm, says Google's plan could encourage "other providers to recognize the value of opening their networks."
But some analysts don't see how Google can make it work without the revenue that existing providers collect from cable TV and phone services.

"Internet service alone doesn't come close" to generating sufficient cash to support an advanced network, says investment analyst Craig Moffett of Bernstein Research. "Even Verizon is struggling to make money on its investment" in a fiber-optic network.

Broadband providers seemed to take Google's announcement in stride. It's "another new paragraph in this exciting (Internet) story," Verizon Executive Vice President Tom Tauke said.

Still, with Google in a market it's as though "the 800-pound gorilla jumps in the pool," says Michael Gartenberg at market researcher Interpret. "You don't know if it can swim. But you do know it's going to make a big splash."

Google's fiber-optic plan follows its ambitious effort to become a power in mobile phones. The goal is to reach consumers everywhere, says Kevin Lee, CEO of search consultancy Didit.
 

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I have said it before, and will say it again, Google is the the next Cyberdyne Systems Corporation
 
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