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Dark Fiber?

By - January 17, 2005

Fiber BlueCnet investigates whether Google might be up to something. I dunno. This is starting to feel like overcoverage. But then again, we’re all interested…

UDATE: Doing some research on my last chapter, I re-read this interview in Fortune(sub required). Sheds some light on the subject of Google’s interest in fiber:

SCHMIDT: Let me tell you some things about broadband. The first is that we see broadband users use Google a lot more. Now, we don’t know what is the causality. We don’t know whether it’s the broadband that allows it, or whether it’s a demographic profile or something, but we do know that broadband users use Google much more and they buy more things. They live on the Internet because of broadband.

So, it is strategic for Google to have broadband deployment worldwide. Every person who converts from narrowband to broadband is more likely to be using Google and its services.

I think Ross is probably right, Google just needs someone to help them negotiate their internal needs. But then again…

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5 thoughts on “Dark Fiber?

  1. This is silly. Google isn’t getting into the telecommunications business. They are, but not as a service provider in any way.

    Google is #3 in the Alexa Traffic Rank. So they have to buy bandwidth. A lot of bandwidth. A site operator at that scale negotiates their own peer agreements with service providers, usually at their own terms because their users want to visit them efficiently. This requires, in some cases, that they extend the reach of their data center.

  2. Google should and will diversify its revenue model. They remember the Netscape’s doom and they won’t repeat the same mistake. The advertising model won’t be enough in the future. Why? The click fraud and the new aggressive players in the search field are the main threats. Google Mini is part of the transformational process. What’s next? Can we say Google Broadband?

    http://divedi.blogspot.com/2005/01/google-broadband-2.html

  3. Ethan Stock says:

    Google reportedly has 250,000 Linux servers distributed worldwide. Running a new application on those servers like, oh, Asterix should not be a really difficult problem. It’s clear that the vast majority of “the world’s information” which Google is determined to search is user-created content (see the Hal Varian SIMS Berkeley study, etc. ad nauseum) and it’s clear first with GMail and now with Desktop that Google wants to get into the personal communications data exhaust space. Why not Google Voice, AKA the Extended Conversation? There are sooooo many opportunities to profitably and beneficially combine the email paradigm, search paradigm, and voice (over IP) conversations for personal and business applications. This is inevitable over the medium-term (10 years) and the only question is whether Google is doing it now, or will do it later, and what the telcos will do to respond. More on my blog, URL above.

  4. Ross,

    Google could EASILY be getting into the WiMax space, via a franchise model and unlicensed spectrum…

    And/or via partnerships w/ TV networks, who control valuable licensed spectrum…

    Read some back issues of Cringely’s column to get a feel for the possibilities…

  5. The Sunday Times are saying Google is getting into VOIP. I wonder was it from reading this blog ? :)

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1454225,00.html