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Google Explains ISP Rumors 111

Posted by Zonk
from the makes-mostly-sense dept.
WindozeSux writes to mention a Wired article explaining why Google bought all that dark fiber, the event that spurred rumors they were planning an ISP. From the article: "When asked by Wired News whether Google was buying up dark fiber, a company spokesman replied that 'Google has and will continue to invest in the equipment our company needs to give our users around the world the best and fastest search results.' Rumors of Google as an ISP were also fueled by the company being granted a large block of new IPv6 addresses last year." They plan to restrict their role as an ISP to the Mountain View and San Francisco areas.
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Google Explains ISP Rumors

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  • restrict? no... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by joe 155 (937621) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @05:46AM (#15641995) Journal
    "They plan to restrict their role as an ISP to the Mountain View and San Francisco areas"

    Don't think of this as a restriction to that area think of this as Google ISP Beta, which will be rolled out around he world within the next 3 years but will stay as an invite only beta
    • by Konster (252488) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @05:54AM (#15642006)
      As long as Google stays in Beta, I'd guess it'll be in a limited area for a decade or two. :P
    • by rolfwind (528248)
      An invite only beta?

      Sort of like Gmail? Very exclusive indeed.
      • I still remember the Windows 95 Beta era. Anybody with a copy of the Windows 95 beta could use dialup to connect to MSN 'beta' for free. Since there was a relatively straightforward way to gateway through MSN (which was Not 'the Internet', it was targeted as a Microsoft 'online service' with connections to 'the Internet') to the 'net, it was a way to download a bunch of Linux and free software stuff without having to pay for an ISP.

        Then, after MSN 'went public' with the Windows 95 release, they offered a
  • fear of uncertainty (Score:4, Interesting)

    by joe 155 (937621) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @05:54AM (#15642007) Journal
    I wonder if this is partly a response to sugestions that Google is trying to do too many things and not enough of them are working well (in a money making sense) which was mentioned here http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/06/30/125221 5 [slashdot.org]. If I was an investor I would want to see that they could start getting projects like this right first before I would be happy to keep my money in a company trying to become an ISP... (even if the story mentioned is FUD - which some people sugested it was - it won't stop google wanting to be cautious about it, perception is everything)
    • Google has a revenue stream (adsense and adwords) that looks pretty reliable in the short to medium term. So they are trying to come up with more revenue streams, and more places to advertise. Google Maps, gMail, etc. are all places where google can advertise to you without having to split the proceeds with the host site.

      Everything else they're trying (like this new gBuy thing) looks like a bunch of shots in the dark. They are. They burn a few hundred thousand on a new idea, if it catches, great. If i
    • This could also be a result of ISPs saying they are going to charge google a second time for bandwidth usage (tiered internet [slashdot.org]). I guess if the price gets too high, they have somewhere else to go.
      • I think that's exactly what this really is. Google's working out the technology in San Francisco and Mountain View; they're buying up all that dark fiber - not because they plan to build an ISP, but so they can threaten to.

        If ISP's really do start breaking net neutrality (really bad for Google, who's service depends on getting users to any site on the internet quickly) - Google has the leverage to play hardball, and realistically threaten to offer free Wi-Fi in the nation's biggest markets (cities).
  • Walmart syndrome (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OffTheLip (636691) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @06:00AM (#15642013)
    Local businesses are cooncerned when Walmart sets up shop in much the same way. Gooooooooogle could be formidible competition to established ISP's and they know it based on a track record of success. The consumers generally win though.
    • by hyfe (641811) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @06:39AM (#15642071)
      Except that while a lot of small shops generally have a lot of sympathy, and people generally like having them around ISP's are generally loathed for crap customer service, random enforcement of terms and having pulled too much shit (unlimited access as long as you don't use more than the secreet number).

      As an aside, I think Walmart is a by-product if your inane zoning-laws. Mostly everywhere else, local shops compete with the convience factor, ie being local, close and within walking distance, but with your extremely clear-clut Residential / Commercial area split they lose that advantage.

      • Well, I for one will stick to my current ISP even if G comes around and tempts me. 30/month get me unlimited traffic, as in "download the frigging net for all we care", 6mbps which actually *are* 6mbps, soon switching over to 12 for the same price (too bad my router panics before that). No traffic shaping that I know of and even if they do, well, more power to them, my Emule and Bittorrent traffic are very healthy indeed. I have run all kinds of servers and it appears that no ports are blocked. And it's not
        • Who's your ISP? Those guys sound amazing.
          • Re:Walmart syndrome (Score:4, Informative)

            by giorgiofr (887762) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @11:08AM (#15642531)
            Slashdot cut out the Euro symbol from my post so I'm not sure if it was clear that I was talking about a non-US entity. Anyway the ISP is Tiscali, they've got a few million users in Europe.
            • Damn being behind all the other developed nations in services and infrastructure!

              Er, I mean, We're number one! We're number one! We're not like all them backwards nations... have I established my American credentials sufficiently?
              • Re:Walmart syndrome (Score:3, Interesting)

                by giorgiofr (887762)
                LOL
                Time and time again I read rants, here on /., on how backward the USA are, how underdeveloped; how here in Europe ISPs pay YOU to use the net (I hear that happens in Soviet Europe...) and so on. I think that the situation is quite simply better in some respects and worse in other. E.g. opening times for shops and malls are ridiculous here, when compared to what you have in the USA. On the other hand, many EU countries have very good public transport, whereas I understand this to be close to non-existant
                • The developed nations of Asia and Europe made it a priority to make sure internet access was fast, cheap, and available. We did not, trusting the market to deliver internet in accordance with demand. Which, you know, works, from time to time. Honest.
        • Where do you live?

          Gotta move there...

      • having pulled too much shit (unlimited access as long as you don't use more than the secreet number).

        Abusive use of bandwidth has never been anything 'evil' and that goes all the way back to the days of the BBS. Sysops would line-kill warez nuts then (who often contributed NOTHING to the community, going directly to the transfer area and sucking down files,) and it's no different now.

        Granted, the ISPs should be more clear about their business being a managed cooperative of people sharing a portal to the In
    • by keyne9 (567528)
      The consumers generally win though.

      ...until Wal*Mart has virtually no competition in the area.
  • by zephc (225327) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @06:04AM (#15642016)
    You have to network the AI's computing nodes somehow.

    Here's to super-intelligence!
  • by Scott Swezey (678347) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @06:11AM (#15642027) Homepage
    So first they rename mountain view to "Google Land," then Google Land continues to grow untill it covers the entire planet and we all have Google Internet.

    Well, with a better name, I hope.
  • 2001:4860::/32 (Score:4, Informative)

    by sa3 (628661) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @06:19AM (#15642039)
    Rumors of Google as an ISP were also fueled by the company being granted a large block of new IPv6 addresses last year.
    A /32 is nothing - it's the minimum size you can advertise globally.
    • $ ping6 www.google.com
      unknown host
      Did someone slashdot them bad enough that their DNS servers are saying 'no more!'?
  • by phntm (723283) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .m07nahp.> on Saturday July 01, 2006 @06:20AM (#15642040) Homepage Journal
    google found a way to not pay to others if the whole net neutrality thing goes along, their becoming "one of the guys" with the big badass routers
    • That actually makes a LOT of sense. But if they *do* set up an ISP, I may investigate just where the service boundaries are. (If their service area includes BOTH San Francisco and Mt. View, then there's a fair chance that it includes me.)
    • That was my first impression as well. If the Time Warner Cables of the world decide to start charging Google to connect them to users, they go nuclear and take their ISP out of beta. They either pay money to the other ISP or undercut them with Google ISP prices.

      - Tash
      • True, but Google would then be forced to become an ISP with real customers to service in the 'grass roots' of the real world. Somehow I feel they will instead continue to hire only PhD's to work in their 'dark tower.'

        Right now they only have to interface with marketing types (fellow 'carnys') as customers. The rest of us are just 'marks.' A switch to a 'retail' operation just doesn't seem like a natural transition for Google.

    • Right on. I worked for AT&T broadband and running and ISP is a piece of cake. They got into it by buying @Home from a bankruptcy, cheap. Dealing with thousands of poor service cable companies was impossible. During the late 90's I installed thousands of miles of fiber that is still dark today. Most of it was from HQs to telecom switches for T1s.
  • by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @06:24AM (#15642047) Journal
    Maybe this has to do with some contingency plan for dealing with the impending doom to net neutrality. And why would they want to get into the ISP business if all they need to do to cut telecom at the knees is lower the barrier for entry for ISPs?
  • by houghi (78078) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @06:47AM (#15642082)
    They say no current plans and that can mean anything in business-speak. And Google has and will continue to invest in the equipment our company needs [...]
    What if another 'need' is to become their own ISP? Could be a very good reason for it, e.g. the fact that the connection to them could be cut down, because TelCo's want to get money twice.
    • Not to mention that IPv6 and fiber can be completely unrelated. The reports seem to assume that the fiber is needed for IPv6 and couldn't be used for IPv4.
    • Of course this is what Google is doing. No company with a 20 Billion market cap would let itself be at the threshold of AT&T and the likes. Their simply reducing their risk of these companies charging Google a greater price for bandwidth and access. They bought up all the dark fiber before they even went public, I'm sure that this was a prerequisite task to complete before they went public. Not having this option would certainly lower their stock price significantly. Also, Google knows it can't re
  • by FractalZone (950570) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @06:49AM (#15642084) Homepage
    Google is in a unique position to expand its own infrastructure required to provide the best overall search capabilities around. In fact it can turn around and overdevelop that infrastructure then sell things such as off-site backup (reliable mass storage), Internet services that compete with other ISPs offerings, and (distributed) supercomputing power for companies that wouldn't or couldn't dream of using a supercomputing facility.

    I've mentioned elsewhere that with the telecoms and cablecoms doing everything they can to protect their ability to make Internet users pay twice (or more) for bandwidth that has already been paid for at both ends of every 'Net connection, Google ought to look into competing in the global ISP market -- one way for it to do so would be to offer fiber connections to people's door. How would that get paid for? Well, I imaging that they could do just what the cablecoms do with their fee-based subscriptions, but provide more reliable service (fibre doesn't care about electrical storms as much as copper wires do).

    All Google need do is be as good as current telecoms and cablecoms are at delivering content and providing N-way communications (all kinds of phone services) to convince increasing numbers of people to switch to equivalent services from Google, if Google delivers those services via fibre and charges competitive rates. People talk. Most people I know hate their current phone companies. Many aren't thrilled with their cable services. (My ISP is a cablecom and they do a good job, IMHO, but I'm not so loyal I wouldn't switch if I got fiber to my home as part of the deal.) If it starts in a few cities on the Left coast, I can't blame it. They are close to home. If things work out well at those "beta sites", it will probably have other cities begging it to compete with telecoms and cablecoms in other locations.

    The problem would be "the last mile". Most of us have four or more physical connections to our home from outside organizatons: power, gas, water, sewer, telephone, and CATV are the main ones that come to my mind. Is there room for another? Yes, especially if it replaces two existing ones with better technology. The rights of way are already in place everywhere that matters, but Google (or anyone else wanting to run fibre to the doors of everyone in your neighborhood) would have to gain access to (permission to use) them.
    • But how many average American customers would want to subscribe to "Google Broandband Beta v2" ?
      • But how many average American customers would want to subscribe to "Google Broandband Beta v2" ?
        Google has this going for it: most geeks seem to like or at least not dislike Google. Guess who the majority of people who are non-Geeks turn to for advice on what tech products to use/buy? Guess what happens oh, starting maybe a decade from now, when the first "Google Generation" is a major market factor and is making serious IT buying decisions? Hmmm?

        Google is a young company. IMNSHO, what it does and
    • and (distributed) supercomputing power for companies that wouldn't or couldn't dream of using a supercomputing facility.

      you mean like the sun grid [sun.com]? we all seen how well that worked out.

  • Log Files A Plenty (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nbannerman (974715) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @07:02AM (#15642101)
    Personally, I'm not sure how much I'd like to trust Google as my ISP. Considering that deleting email from my gmail account doesn't automatically mean it disappears from their servers, I'd be interested to see how long they'd store my browsing habbits.

    Maybe I'm being overly paranoid, but I just don't like the idea that my browsing habbits from today could bite me in the ass in a few years time.

    Yes, Google are still riding on the backs of their 'do no evil' mantra, but something has gotta give. Given the current political climate in the US, I'd rather not leave a nice handy log trail for someone to follow.

    That said, I think I trust Google more than anyone else right now.
    • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Saturday July 01, 2006 @08:46AM (#15642247) Journal
      The other ISPs are also recording your browsing habits (note: only 1 b in 'habit') - so whether you use Google or not as an ISP, your browsing habits will still come back to bite you if you're doing any browsing that is likely to do that sort of thing.

      So far, unlike the big ISPs, Google has fought the Government in court when it comes to giving up records. Other companies just say "Here you are FBI, here's all the records no problem".
      • Agreed. Plus Google has always been nice enough to tell us that they're monitoring us, if not tell us what they're doing with that data.

        As much as I despise being forced to trust a large company, I'd certainly rather be forced to trust Google over, say Comcast or a Telco.
    • To be fair - there are very good technical reasons for emails not being purged instantly. Take a look at their Bigtable presentation [google.com] for some possible reasons.
    • At least, not if they're any good.

      The reason's pretty sound too - Backups. A mail provider that cannot ensure that its users can pick up their mail reliably will quickly be deserted, and the easiest way of making sure that noones email gets lost is to make sure that you have both backups and audit trails of all the mail that comes through your servers.

      Deleting your email from the 'live' servers will tag those emails for deletion, but what about the backups? Either those continue to exist until the backups a
  • hedging their bets (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eagl (86459) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @07:06AM (#15642111) Journal
    I think it's a smart hedge against current infrastructure owners who are trying to make certain ones and zeros cost more than other ones and zeros. They say buying bandwidth isn't enough, they also want more money for certain ones and zeros depending on the aggregate meaning of certain groups of ones and zeros.

    Google, benefitting in general from flat-rate fees for bandwidth regardless of content, only naturally would like to keep this from happening. In the event that they fail in the courts and in congress, it would make a whole lot of sense for them to simply own a LOT of the basic infrastructure themselves. This gives them leverage in two ways - first, they can sell this bandwidth at whatever fee structure they find fair, enhancing their business by catering to their customers. Second, they can use their infrastructure as a bargaining chip to ensure that other carriers do not levy additional content-based and company-specific fees. Try to charge google and google customers extra fees, and get cut out of google's search engine and lose access to their fiber.

    The carriers have been entrusted with a national resource and have benefitted from huge government concessions and subsidies for decades, but now that they have a little wiggle room they're turning around and trying to gouge more money out of both the average consumers, but also content providers on a deliberately biased basis. Some customers are simply going to be charged more for their bandwidth than others, and some customers will find themselves throttled or cut off entirely if they don't pay the proper extortion fee.

    The phone system was supposed to be equally accessable by EVERYONE in the nation. That's why the govt set up the telcos the way they did from the beginning. Minor variations by region and based largely on actual costs aside, it cost about as much to get a phone in new york city as it did in the middle of Arizona. And calling from California to Nevada or California to Maine cost the exact same amount per minute. But now the data carriers are going to take this nationally funded infrastructure and make it inherently unequal.

    That's abuse of a national resource, but knowing that congress is hopelessly in the pockets of lobbyists and big business, it makes complete sense for google to bank away some insurance against this sort of thing.
  • Being an ISP is not so cool in the way that you need to go locally with hardware everywhere, even with wifi.

    Why not start with exploring a Google Worldwide Proxy. Google said they want to entrance to the market as high as possible, so you can't be beat by, say, two students with a good idea like concentrating on search alone.
    So what if they offer everybody faster surfing experiences? I have a broadband connection, but don't enjoy full speed across the globe, because there's only that much my isp can do in

  • Telco Miscalc (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kazrael (918535) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @07:30AM (#15642138) Homepage
    I hope Google catches the telcos with the same timing they took on Microft. Everyone was starting to get irritated with IE6, the Microsoft Monopoly, all of the little M$ gotchas. Then a savior, GOOGLE and open source! Hurrah! Now they get the same opportunity. Telcos getting greedy, making front-page headlines on cnn, the Telco Trigopoly (or whatever), charging my ass 60 bucks a month for cable internet alone. Time for Google to step in again. Can't wait to see the telcos try to fend them off like M$.
    • Re:Telco Miscalc (Score:2, Informative)

      by dotdevin (936747)
      Last I checked Google software was not open source.
    • As far as I know google aren't open source and aren't huge open source advocates either. Then again they aren't part of the micro$oft monopoly so there not all bad.
    • What? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ClosedSource (238333) *
      Google hasn't beaten MS in anything but search. Google is just the latest in a long line of media-proclaimed MS killers including Lotus Notes, Netscape, Java, Network computers, Linux etc.
    • Re:Telco Miscalc (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rm69990 (885744) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @11:49AM (#15642636)
      What exactly are you going on about? How did Google fix the problem with IE stagnating and pissing off users? Mozilla did, yes, as did Opera, Safari and others. Google has never made a browser before, so I fail to see how Google helped fix the browser problem one bit, except for funding Mozilla AFTER Firefox already began to become popular. And why exactly are you grouping together Google and open source....Google may help fund a few projects, but every single piece of software they make for consumers is proprietary, and also generally for non-commercial use only.

      I like a lot of Google's products, but seriously, quit making them about to be some savior of the tech industry that is going to take down "M$" (what a stupid acronym btw) and save the customers from their evil grip. They're a bloody search engine that also makes a couple of nifty web apps that next to no one actually uses (with the exception of Earth and Gmail), except for some of the people who worship the company. I wouldn't be surprised if the company is bankrupt in 10 years from mis-management, as they seem to have little to no control over their employees (the senior guys admitted as much recently) and they're throwing away money on stupid projects that are never going to make them a dime, and just sit there on their web servers not being used.

      Of course, Gmail, Earth, News, Calendar and Google Search rock, but who the hell needs Google Spreadsheets? Do they honestly think it is going to make them any money? At least Ask.com is around and well for if Google implodes under its own weight...about the only thing that would be hard to move away from would be Calendar and Gmail.
      • Wow, somone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Google Spreadsheets are cool. And innovative, and they work. Google isn't trying to compete with MS on anything but search. This other stuff really just serves two purposes. It keeps their smart people happy, and it keeps their rep up. Both of which are extremely important in a web technology company. You mentioned Gmail, Earth, News, Calendar, And Search as products which rock. All of those projects except search started as google labs projects
        • OK, fine, take that part of my comment off (haven't gone to bed yet actually, but you were pretty close). My point still stands that the original poster was way off base about Google fixing the IE problem, that was done by groups like Mozilla and Opera (primarily Mozilla, as they gave Microsoft a good swift kick in the ass and made them fix their browser). Google jumped on board after the ball had already started rolling, and still aren't doing the majority of the work, so why he praised Google for work oth
  • by DarkOx (621550) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @08:12AM (#15642193) Journal
    Becomeing an ISP might give them more standing for law suits on the net-neutrality frount. Small and local ISP have as much to loose from neutrality being taken away as google does but for different reasons. This might allow google anouther avenue for law suits against the big carriers and a seccond chance to stop all this BS in the courts, before congress gets a chance to really screw things up.
  • Google Skynet (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Signing up for Google as ISP? Don't think so... They'll peek into your traffic to better get a picture of what kind of personality you are, so that they can more accurately target ads. And did I mention handing out a nice dossier about you when your favorite government agency asks for it.

    Cheers to Google Skynet.
    • Re:Google Skynet (Score:3, Informative)

      by rm69990 (885744)
      Ummm, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Google the only major search engine who fought the Government over their subpoena, instead of bending over and taking it up the ass like the other search engines did? Of course, you could go back to AT&T, all they do is feed all of your data directly to the NSA ;-)
  • Google as an ISP (Score:4, Insightful)

    by musicscene (453302) * <gonzo@musicscene . o rg> on Saturday July 01, 2006 @09:53AM (#15642380) Homepage Journal
    One thing that the might Google will need to address is their (lack) of Customer Service.

    Totally ignoring people just does not fly.

    The folks they have assigned to Google Adsense are a prime example.
    • One thing that the might Google will need to address is their (lack) of Customer Service. Totally ignoring people just does not fly. The folks they have assigned to Google Adsense are a prime example.

      Why do you say that ? I've been on Adsense for a few months and had some serious issues at the begining. They answered and solved the problems within a day or two each time. So no complain from this side. Adsense is their big moneymaker, so I'd hope they take care of their paying cutomers. I can understand the

      • Re:Google as an ISP (Score:2, Interesting)

        by musicscene (453302) *
        My site had been generating about $100/month (hey don't laugh it paid the bills) for some time (over a year). We got an email from Google pointing the finger at us encouraging clicks on the ads. Back in January/February of this year, we have had some dialogue with Adsense customer service, a total of 2 emails. Our issue is still open ended... on their side. They gave us an oppurtunity to answer their questions and we never heard back from them. We've attemped numerous times to get our account reopened,
        • Have to agree, their customer service is arrogant and for the most part, mostly automated.

          My website was accused of generating clicks, when I tried to plead my case, they refused to listen. When asked to review the matter, like 4 months later they told me that there was still enough evidence to suggest I was artificially clicking on ads to generate revenue.

          The amount of revenue I had generated was about $3.50 worth and was aquired when I was developing the website and was testing it with friends and family
      • Why would you pay Google to use Adsense? Or are you thinking of Adwords?
    • They had an incorrect link on their webpage (it pointed somewhere, but there was no information on what was meant to be there ... info about their automatic currency conversion I think). I sent them an email, informing of this. It was clear and had direct links exact quotes and so forth. They actually asked me for a screen shot of the problem. (I'll point out it's very hard to screenshot of a link that points to a working page that has no information about what the link asked for!)

      Anyway, it seems they've f
    • by pipingguy (566974) *
      Have you ever tried to contact Yahoo for customer support? It's similar, if not worse.

      A couple of months ago my site had problems with address-spoofing on a members-only Yahoogroups discussion site. Their response was something like: "you have a virus, it's not our fault, and even if it was, we've sent this automated reply to placate you while we maybe try to investigate the problem. Have a nice day."
    • I don't know about that, for a lot of companies the biggest expense is customer support. If you don't offer support, you can charge a lot less. Then you will have a customer base that knows what they are doing, and doesn't need customer support. Sounds great to me.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    In order to do and end-run around the telcos, who will scuttle net neutrality.
    • What would it take for Google to develop their own mobile phone network? I mean with all those IP6 addresses, they could offer free cell phones, use Gtalk, send ads to the display, it wouldn't be that hard to have a network of mobile phones, right? what kind of FCC regulations would they need to settle? I can't believe that no one has thought of this before or blogged about it... seriously, I'm just curious and wondering out loud. I don't have any knowledge of telcos and the like... -Mike-
  • it's nice to think about, but it won't happen soon enough, for me. i mean, think about it, i may be able to choose between a whole 2 broadband companies...some day...
  • Cannibal corpse (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nemmi (33230)
    Google continues to encroach on the services that their advertisers are supplying. They will need to get a strategy that will support a long-term downward spiral of those advertising dollars from this cannibalism, and are recognizing that recurring revenue is the way to go. It is pretty clear that they will turn to service to accomplish this, but there will certainly be a revolt in the process, and they WILL suffer deeply. The ancillary services are clear indicators that they are concerned about "stickiness
    • Google continues to encroach on the services that their advertisers are supplying. They will need to get a strategy that will support a long-term downward spiral of those advertising dollars from this cannibalism, and are recognizing that recurring revenue is the way to go.

      If Google (or any large IT company) obviously can (or ought to) go somewhere to make a profit, it is foolhardy to make that place your market niche, assuming that getting there first gives you some sort of dibs on the spot or that Goog
  • Beta? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Timedout (985565)
    Well, if google is running a "beta" ISP somewhere I can quickly imagine them becoming a real ISP. I mean, look at google mail. It is still in "beta" but it functions 100 times more usefully than most of the webmail services I have used, and is quickly becoming popular. Just because google claims something is beta doesn't mean it isn't actually working, is what I am trying to say. I am also not sure of the needs that google has with fiber to begin with. I work at a small private college (5k students) an
  • I was reading a few places and calculated bandwidth at a cost of $0.16 per gigabyte of data transfer it costs an ISP to deliver it to your door. I pay $45ish per month, so thats 281.25 GB / month until they break even. To do some quick math that is the equivalent of 3 or 4 of today's modern hard drives, 70 DVD movies or 401 music CD's... and who knows how many iPods!! And to think they want to charge extra for data transfer :o

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