Despite Delays, Google Fiber is Making Progress
In a recent post in regards to Google’s potential as a wireless carrier, I was quick to point out that Google does not have an existing nation-wide network (neither wired or wireless) that would be able to serve as the “backbone” to a potential wireless network. However, I was also quick to take note that Google had indeed made plans to develop and deploy a nation-wide fiber-optics network. This network, dubbed “Google Fiber” was announced earlier this year, however has been relatively slow in deployment. Having said this, despite a lot of interest from municipalities, Google Fiber has yet to be introduced to a “production” environment and has yet to be available to the masses. However, after keeping the public in the dark about Google Fiber’s progress for several months now, a recent post on Google’s official blog has shed new light on the current – and future – status of the project.
First and foremost, it is important to note that Milo Medin has been appointed as the new vice president of Google’s “Access Services” division. While a new leader for the project is definitely of great importance, who that leader is is of even greater importance. Mr. Medin is known for his founding of M2Z Networks; a company that, among other things, has been working to make free wireless Internet available to 95% of the United States. Because of this aspect alone, Medin is definitely qualified – in both a technological and business perspective – to lead Google’s fiber network in the right direction. I personally think that Medin’s background paired with Google’s resources will ultimately lead to a massive success for Google Fiber.
Getting to the meat of the post itself, Medin discussed the massive level of response from city governments interested in Google Fiber. Based on the way he worded it, it kind of sounded like Google’s promise of fast and reliable Internet had a bigger interest than was initially expected. However, the post also stalls the announcement of which cities will be the first to try Google Fiber into “early 2011”. While this announcement was expected to come by the end of this year, I think it’s perfectly understandable that Google needs to wait it out in order to determine what cities are best suited to test the network. While one may simply think the process is as simple as drawing a lottery, the fact of the matter is that Google needs to evaluate each and every city to determine which of them will be easiest to deploy to and which will allow for the best testing environment. With a larger than expected option of cities to choose from, it’s easy to understand how this could be a somewhat daunting task.I
In ending the post, Medin states “we want to make sure we get this right.” When looking at this, I actually applaud Google for stepping to the plate and admitting that they are not in a position to deploy their network at this time. To me, this is a lot more honorable than their alternative of deploying unstable and unready networks only to have them fail on Internet-dependent users.
More than anything, however, I think this post by Google was put out there to show that Google Fiber is still making progress, even though the extent of that progress has yet to be seen by the community as a whole. So at the end of the day, I think that Google Fiber is still a promising product, and look forward to seeing what the next year brings for the project.