Google to launch experimental 1Gbps fiber-to-the-home network
By Jeff Salton
February 11, 2010
Google plans to roll-out an experimental trial of an ultra high-speed 1 gigabit per second (1Gbps) fiber-to-the-home (FFTH) broadband service that is around 100 times faster than most Americans experience today. Google says the service will be delivered to a number of cities or communities – 50,000 to 500,000 residents - somewhere of its choosing in the USA in a effort to investigate new ways of making Internet access better and faster for everyone.
Internet at this speed means remotely-located doctors could quickly check 3D medical images of patients sent by a clinic thousands of miles away, universities could share facilities on-line with other campuses without tying up precious resources and, at home, viewers could live stream any HD content or download a HD full length movie before they’ve finished making a cup of coffee.
Google product manager James Kelly says all these applications are possible and a broadband network this fast opens up opportunities for applications we haven’t dreamed of yet.
Kelly says Google has urged the Federal Communications Commission to deliver to Congress a National Broadband Plan. But it seems it is no longer willing to sit back and wait and has decided to forge ahead with its own broadband network to show the Government what can be done. Google says its network will be "open access", allowing other service providers to use its infrastructure to deliver services to their customers.
“We're planning to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the United States. We'll deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. We plan to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people,” said Kelly.
Google wants 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 not yet imagined. The company says it will test new ways to build fiber networks, and to help inform and support deployments elsewhere. It adds that is willing to share key lessons learned with the world.
Google says it will manage its network in a non-discriminatory and transparent way.
“Like our WiFi network in Mountain View, the purpose of this project is to experiment and learn. Network providers are making real progress to expand and improve high-speed Internet access, but there's still more to be done. We don't think we have all the answers – but through our trial, we hope to make a meaningful contribution to the shared goal of delivering faster and better Internet for everyone,” says Kelly.
He adds that the company will have a competitive pricing structure for users of the network.
Google has begun the process by putting out a request for information (RFI) to help identify interested communities. Responses are welcomed until March 26 on the company’s website.