More on Google Networks

There’s a lot of scuttlebutt on the proposed Google Network(s). Some communities, such as Duluth/Twin Ports have jumped all over it. In fact they have a rally to support the effort tomorrow (Thursday) from 4-9:00 at the UMD CED Tech Village. Others have been thinking more than doing. Here are what a few folks are saying…

MultiChannel News calls it “an expensive lobbying move”. The network would run into the tens of millions of dollars and with few details presented industry folks are wondering about the earnestness of the Big Gig networks. People are really watching to see what an impact this has on the FCC and the National Broadband Plan. As you may recall they also made some bold moves in 2008 surrounding the broadband 700 Mhz spectrum auction to drive open access. (Yet, Google did not actually buy anything at the spectrum auction.

“The Google plan is short on details, with no information on capital spending, and, in our view, should primarily be seen through the lens of regulatory posturing,” Sanford Bernstein senior analyst Craig Moffett wrote in a research report. “We do not view Google’s announcement as a serious threat to the broadband businesses of either the cable or telecom operators.”

The New York Times said much of the same pointing out that…

But Google’s promise to build the demonstration network is also the latest example of the Internet search company using its money and industry clout to help shape the future of the Internet to its liking.

The Wall Street Journal points out that Google isn’t the first to build an ultra fast network. That’s not a big challenge of big solution …

The real problem is financing fiber networks for rural or underpopulated areas, where the cost can reach $4,000 per connected home, versus $1,400 in a suburban area, estimates Mark Horinko, president of, which builds broadband networks.

It seems as if Google may have already had an impact. Here’s a an excerpt from FCC Chairman Genachowski’s speech at NARUC (National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners) today:

“To meet the imperatives of global competitiveness and enduring job creation, we must have broadband networks of such unsurpassed excellence that they will empower American entrepreneurs and innovators to build and expand businesses here in the United States.”

“Our [National Broadband Plan] will set goals for the U.S. to have the world’s largest market of very high-speed broadband users [by 2020]. A “100 Squared” initiative — 100 million households at 100 megabits per second — to unleash American ingenuity and ensure that businesses, large and small, are created here, move here, and stay here.”

“And we should stretch beyond 100 megabits. The U.S. should lead the world in ultra-high-speed broadband testbeds as fast, or faster, than anywhere in the world. In the global race to the top, this will help ensure that America has the infrastructure to host the boldest innovations that can be imagined. Google announced a one gigabit testbed initiative just a few days ago — and we need others to drive competition to invent the future.”

This entry was posted in Funding, MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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