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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Google nation

City Councilman Mitch Harper is inviting local government officials to get together to apply to be one of the communities in Google's planned ultra-fast and open fiber network. From Google's Web site:

Google is planning to launch an experiment that we hope will make Internet access better and faster for everyone. We plan to test ultra-high speed broadband networks in one or more trial locations across the country. Our networks will deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today over 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. We'll offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.

From now until March 26th, we're asking interested municipalities to provide us with information about their communities through a Request for information (RFI), which we'll use to determine where to build our network.

100 times faster than what we have access to now -- that ain't slow. Google already accounts for more than 10 percent of all Internet traffic, and this will just add to its dominance. By launching its own mobile operating system and smartphone, Google used its clout to change how carriers operate and is trying to divorce pohones from specific carriers:

And now, with the construction of its experimental fiber network, Google is trying to push its vision for how the Internet as a whole should operate. With typical broadband speeds lagging behind those in countries such as South Korea and Japan, Google is seemingly trying to give U.S. carriers a kick in the pants by saying, "If we can build a network this fast that serves large numbers of people, so can you."

Google would pay for the network, charge "competitive rates" to users and, it says, not favor its content over others. Sounds like a pretty good deal for communities -- IF