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Google's $100 Million Fiber Diet

David Utter
Expert Author
Published: 2005-09-19

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The search engine company could be ready to push video and VoIP to the masses over a Google-branded network.

Om Malik points us to the latest chapter in Google's much-rumored network development plans. He cites a note on IP Democracy's web site that discusses Google's issue once it gets "close" to the end user with all this connectivity:

The perennial problem is that close is not enough - to reach the end user, Google has to have access to the last mile.

Getting close will cost Google under $100 million, according to the report. The Mountain View company and its purchases of unused "dark fiber" has been reported in several places. IP Media Monitor contends Google's fiber aspirations will let it have "unprecedented flexibility to push massive amounts of voice, video and data content very close to end users."

Owning the type of network Google has in the works would place it with AT&T, Sprint Nextel, and MCI. Those firms operate "commercial dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) optical networks." Once Google flips a switch, they become an instant big-time communications company.

Except, they won't have any customers. Not until Google finds a way to bridge that last mile. The answer to that may have been seen in the post-Hurricane Katrina efforts both by volunteers and by technology powers like Intel: wireless networking.

What they could choose for wireless would be anyone's guess. WiMax would be one possibility, as IP Media Monitor notes, and another would be buying in to a broadband network like Verizon's.

Google wouldn't have to roll its solution out to the whole country. It could pick and choose from major cities, probably those high in the media market food chain. After all, Google is an advertising company, and to monetize its investment, it seems ads and associated technologies like pay-per-call will figure into the equation.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

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