Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Time to end the Google Fiber media hype. It's not going to solve U.S. telecom infrastructure crisis

Google Fiber no longer a moonshot — it's a 'real business': Internet giants Google and Facebook, frustrated that telecom companies aren't moving fast enough, are building all kinds of technology to extend the reach, accelerate the speed and lower the cost of the Internet, from high-altitude balloons to drones. The perpetually sorry state of U.S. broadband prompted Google to take an even more ambitious step: It announced Fiber in 2010. Google's lucrative advertising business relies on the use and growth of the Internet. Faster, cheaper connections mean more people spend more time online using Google services such as search, YouTube or Gmail, and viewing Google ads, says Recon Analytics analyst Roger Entner.

This is essentially PR flackery for Google Fiber. The idea that Google Fiber is somehow lighting a fire under the asses of the incumbent telephone and cable to modernize their metallic legacy infrastructures is ludicrous.

Google Fiber holds no business advantage over the incumbents. Both are constrained by business models that limit their ability to modernize America's telecom infrastructure to fiber to the premise. They can only move as fast as their budgets allow. Neither the incumbents nor Google Fiber have the billions needed to accomplish the task in the near future. So they're reduced to cherry picking lucrative urban markets and issuing hyperbolic news releases that are nothing more than a PR pissing contest.

What's needed as I suggest in my recent eBook Service Unavailable: America's Telecommunication Infrastructure Crisis is a crash federal telecom modernization initiative wherein the federal government would build fiber to every doorstep in the nation.

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