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Google is looking for communities to participate in the experiment

Google started out as a search engine that was the new kid on the block fighting against the big firms like Yahoo for a piece of the market. As time went by, Google became the most popular search engine online in many countries including the U.S. and it runs the most successful advertising program online giving it an enormous amount of cash to spend on other projects.

Since the early days, Google has continually added to the things that it offers and does. It has moved from a search firm to being a software firm with offerings competing against Microsoft and more. With the unveiling of the Nexus One, Google started selling phones directly to customers. With Google Wave and Google Voice, the company stepped into the communications and collaboration markets as well starting the transformation into a telecommunications firm for the search giant.

Google has now announced its next big plan to add to its offerings and bring new services to its users. Google announced on its official blog a new experimental plan for a fiber network that will bring huge increases in internet speeds to the public.

Google outlines its vision for the fiber network in the blog post, "Imagine sitting in a rural health clinic, streaming three-dimensional medical imaging over the web and discussing a unique condition with a specialist in New York. Or downloading a high-definition, full-length feature film in less than five minutes. Or collaborating with classmates around the world while watching live 3-D video of a university lecture. Universal, ultra high-speed Internet access will make all this and more possible."

Google is planning to build and test a new ultra-high speed fiber optic broadband network in a small number of trial locations across America. The network will be capable of delivering speeds over 100 times faster than most people in the country have access to today at 1Gbps. The blazing speed will be offered using a fiber-to-the-home connection.

Google claims that it plans to offer connectivity to anywhere from 50,000 to 500,000 users at a competitive price. The goal of the experiment is to see what sort of apps developers can come up with when there is a huge amount of bandwidth. Google also wants to test new ways to build fiber networks and help inform and support similar deployments in other parts of the world. The network it creates will offer open access with a choice of multiple service providers.

The announcement today marks the first step in the new program with a request for information to help find interested communities. Google is welcoming responses from local governments and citizens. Those interested in the program can respond to Google on a page set up for the experiment. Responses will be collected until March 26. After that date Google will announce the communities it plans to target later in 2010 for the network installations. Google reports that it has urged the FCC to look for new and novel ways to get broadband to more of the country as part of the National Broadband Plan and the experiment is its contribution to the effort.



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RE: This is not an Experiment
By FITCamaro on 2/11/2010 2:07:47 PM , Rating: 2
And I believe FiOS is able to handle 100 Mbps but they don't have a need to offer that fast of speeds. I think they offer up to 50 Mbps now right? I would kill to have FiOS in my area.


RE: This is not an Experiment
By nafhan on 2/11/2010 2:35:22 PM , Rating: 2
The fiber itself can go much higher than 100Mbps. It's being limited by the hardware at either end, and - like you said - the fact that they don't need to offer anything that fast.


RE: This is not an Experiment
By rett448 on 2/11/2010 6:45:21 PM , Rating: 2
Verizon uses GPON for FIOS which has about 2.5 Gbits/s downstream and 1.2 gbit/s upstream of available bandwidth


RE: This is not an Experiment
By michaelklachko on 2/11/2010 8:32:47 PM , Rating: 2
Each of those gpon ports is split 64 or 128 ways.


RE: This is not an Experiment
By Oregonian2 on 2/12/2010 4:35:12 PM , Rating: 2
The 2.4Ghz download datarate is delivered to EVERY customer in a G-Pon system (I'm alas, on an older BPON FiOS system). Every house sees the full datarate, and only the data addressed for that customer is "picked off" and delivered to the customer-side interface.

If the system designer decided to be more DSL-like and overbook shared bandwidth, every customer could be assigned a 1-Gbps download rate that each user could "peak" at (well, two could do the full rate at once). The boxes would have to have gigabit ethernet ports rather than 100Mhz ones (like mine has anyway), but that'd be a relatively minor hardware change to the boxes.

I wonder if this is what Google has in mind. Bandwidth is going to be shared pretty strongly at the next junction upstream anyway. A neighborhood of only a thousand houses isn't going to be given a Terabit feed.

btw - At least with Verizon, I understand that in practice they split the GPON more like 32 ways and BPON more like 16 ways, even if they can do more in theory. Just stuff I've read in forums (I having FiOS), I don't know for sure.


RE: This is not an Experiment
By chrnochime on 2/11/2010 11:06:22 PM , Rating: 2
Yes they're limited by hardware at either end, and since AFAIK the current available transceivers that can be used cost effectively for broadband(uh I hate that term) consumers cannot go near Gigabit speed it's pointless to try to pass data through fiber any faster.


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