This might seem like a joke, given that Google is best known as a search company and had once mounted a prank campaign called TiSP, which promised to give consumers free wireless internet with fiber optic cable run through their toilet. But this is the real deal.
From now until March 26, Google is asking for your feedback about where it should test the high-speed internet system. During this phase of the project, you can tell Google why your community deserves an amazingly fast internet connection. Google will announce the communities that have been selected later this year and is expected to include 50,000 to 500,000 people in the initial test.
Google is getting into the business of providing internet connections for three reasons; deployment of next generation web-apps, finding new ways to build fiber networks, and to provide openness and choice in the ultra-high-speed Internet connection market.
Google shared how it envisions this project changing the way we use the Web on The Official Google Blog.
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.While many consumers will appreciate the speed of a ultra-high-speed internet connection and the cool things it can do in their homes, especially with internet-connected TVs and true HD streaming on the horizon, the prospect of competition is the best part of this announcement.
What it means is that if Google's project goes forward, it will be letting other providers use the infrastructure it has installed, while selling access at a competitive rate (it claims). Assuming this goes nationwide, more people will be able to choose what company to purchase a high-speed internet connection from. For individuals like myself, who can only get online through Time Warner, the prospect of choice is exciting!