Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Google's fibre plans: website launched, time to speculate on UK implications?


Google have announced the launch of a new site, Google Fibre for Communities, on the official Google Blog, following its February 2010 request for information (RFI) to help identify interested communities. See this previous post for more on the RFI process, this one for details of the strong response Google received and this one for some thoughts on Google's open access intentions.

Google intends to name its target community or communities by the end of 2010. It's set up the site to "thank you for your enthusiasm, to share our experiences as we move forward with our project, and to provide additional resources for anyone interested in ultra high-speed Internet access." Two immediate actions that the site recommends interested parties take are "to send letters of support to Congress for pending federal legislation requiring installation of conduit in federally-funded transportation projects" and to encourage a similar approach at a local level, " to make conduit installation an integral part of their own road construction/repair process".

All of which reminds me of this previous post, speculating on links between the Conservative Party and Google in the run up to the UK General Election on 6 May 2010. This extract from a PC Pro report in particular:
"Parliamentary sources have told PC Pro that the Tories' plans were based on foreign investment in the UK broadband network. Google is one of the few companies with the necessary capital and motivation to invest in British broadband. Google latest financial results reveal that 12% of the company's revenue comes from the UK...The Conservatives and Google already have close links. Last year, Tory leader David Cameron appointed Google CEO Eric Schmidt to a committee of "top talent" that would help lead Britain out of recession."
Broadband Delivery UK's much-anticipated industry event is being held in London tomorrow; could an announcement be in the offing perhaps? Personally I doubt it, as any such speculation in this regard is probably just that, but interesting and very entertaining nevertheless. The list of attendees doesn't include Google...but maybe the list of speakers is a separate list? We'll have to wait and see.

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