SAN FRANCISCO: Google Inc plans to build a superfast Internet network for up to half a million people, a project that could pressure telecommunications companies to loosen their control of web access in the United States.
The firm has locked horns with the likes of AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc over the issue of net neutrality: Google wants telephone companies to permit consumers to run any web application they want, while carriers do not want to lose control of networks they have invested billions of dollars to build.
In building the test network, Google wants to demonstrate a carrier could easily manage complex applications that use a lot of bandwidth without sacrificing performance.
Google said on Wednesday it did not plan to build a nationwide network and its goal was only to develop a trial service at a “competitive price” to 50,000 to 500,000 people, offering web speeds of up to 100 times faster than most consumers get today.
It said the network would run on fibre optic lines to homes, but declined to give more details. It asked cities and states interested in joining the experiment to apply to Google by March 26 and said it eventually would build the network in a number of US locations.
Google said it would pay for building the network itself without seeking financial partners or government subsidies and then charge consumer and business customers.
“We’ll deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with one gigabit per second, fibre-to-the home connections,” product managers Minnie Ingersoll and James Kelly wrote in a Google blog. — Reuters
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