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Google is planning to launch an experiment that they hope will make Internet access better and faster for everyone. Google is looking to test ultra-high speed broadband networks in several trial locations across the United States. Google’s experiment dubbed “think big with a gig” will provide Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today. The speeds will reach over 1 gigabit per second (that’s very extremely fast).

Google says they plan to offer the service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 (but potentially up to 500,000) people. A competitive price is relative though. I am curious if they mean competitive to the current prices at the current speeds or competitive for the speeds you will have access to (which could still be ridiculously expensive).  I should also note that if you do get this service provided by Google, it is important to remember that the bottleneck will be the server you are trying to access.  If the website is hosted on a web server with a small pipe (slower connection) then you will not be able to download at the 1Gbit/sec speeds.  Similarly for any downloadable content from videos, music, ISO files, etc.

Here are some more details from the Google blog post:

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.

If you are possibly interested in joining the experiment (and why wouldn’t you be, right?) Google is accepting requests for this service from both government and local communities from now until March 26th.  Google will use the requests they receive to determine where to build their network.


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