Google moves into ISP realm

Google moves into ISP realm

Google's plan to offer 1Gb/s FTTH broadband connections comes with certain privacy concerns.

Google has announced a continuation of its plan to get its hands on every possible piece of information about its users via the creation of a high-speed 1Gb/s Internet service for home users.

As reported over on, the announcement comes from product managers Minnie Ingersoll and James Kelly who state that Google is looking to "build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations" offering 1Gb/s connections as standard.

The small-scale trial is looking to hook up at least 50,000 users, with up to 500,000 connections being on offer should initial trials go well. Sadly for anyone here in the UK, Google is only looking at trialling the service in the US for now.

The 1Gb/s connection speed is made possible by using fibre-optic cabling directly to the home - known, oddly enough, as Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) - coupled with Google's own massive consumption of bandwidth, making a few thousand home users browsing at 1Gb/s seem like a drop in the ocean.

Google's Richard Whitt believes that the ultra-high-speed connectivity will allow the company to "experiment with new ways to help make broadband Internet access batter, faster, and more widely available," along with allowing "many new innovations [...] including streaming high-definition video content, remote data storage, distance learning, real-time multimedia collaboration and others that we simply can't imagine yet."

The service - to be offered at "a competitive price" to "underserved" communities - will come as manna from heaven for those looking for faster 'net connections, but should sound a warning bell in privacy enthusiasts: by using Google as your ISP, the notorious data warehousing company gets to see all the traffic that you every transmit on the Internet. Basically, if you were concerned at the privacy implications when Google launched its public DNS service this should be giving you the heebie-jeebies.

Sadly, there's no announcement on exactly when the trial network will go live - nor the lucky community or communities to enjoy the service - except a vague hope that it could be up and running "before 2011."

Would you sacrifice all of your data to Google in return for a 1Gb/s Internet connection, or do you value your privacy more than bandwidth? Share your thoughts over in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
UncertainGod 11th February 2010, 13:48 Quote
Ah, this story doesn't let the truth get in it's way at all does it?

There are conducting trials with up to 500,000 people (multiple small scale sites) to test new fibre rollout strategies that they can then pass on to ISP's in order to give fast network rollout a kick up the arse. Also it doesn't help remind ISP's that if they didn't improve their network and keep it open then Google certainly has the pieces in place to move into the market.
B1GBUD 11th February 2010, 13:50 Quote
Any word up upstream speeds?
shanky887614 11th February 2010, 13:52 Quote
look at tomshardware there is more detail

and you have to vote for your town to do this and it is only availible in the us
Stewb 11th February 2010, 14:16 Quote
125k bytes is now ulktra high speed broadband? Thought that was known as midband... or not even that... slowest broadband I know of is 2Gb/s....

yes, indded, out by a factpor of 1000
markoshust 11th February 2010, 14:21 Quote
you are incorrect. the slowest broadband you know of is probably 1Mb/s, not Gb/s. This is a thousand times faster than a 1Mb/s connection.
Stewb 11th February 2010, 14:22 Quote

Not enough sleep. :)

Oh yes. that really is quite fast :(
Digi 11th February 2010, 14:28 Quote
Originally Posted by B1GBUD
Any word up upstream speeds?

Fiber should be a 1-to-1 link right? So up and down should be the same.
Stewb 11th February 2010, 14:33 Quote
Originally Posted by Digi
Fiber should be a 1-to-1 link right? So up and down should be the same.

Time for me to stop looking like an idiot hopefully.... Maybe its technically a 1-1 link but my fibre isn't, ive got a 20Mb down but a 2Mb up, maybe thats just the ISP but its not necessarily a 1-1.
NuTech 11th February 2010, 14:40 Quote
Originally Posted by Stewb
Time for me to stop looking like an idiot hopefully.... Maybe its technically a 1-1 link but my fibre isn't, ive got a 20MB down but a 2MB up, maybe thats just the ISP but its not necessarily a 1-1.
Sure you're not talking about a Cable connection?
Stewb 11th February 2010, 14:41 Quote
Originally Posted by NuTech
Sure you're not talking about a Cable connection?

Yup, definitely fibre, ill check, its either 2Mb up or 4Mb up, certianly not as fast as the down though.
proxess 11th February 2010, 15:18 Quote
Fiber usually isn't 1to1. It's usually dedicated down and shared up (at least that's how it is here in Portugal). For home use at the moment we have 100Mbit down dedicated and 100mbit up shared between 5~20 households. For the industry there are a few banks (2 or 3) with 10Gbit.
shigllgetcha 11th February 2010, 15:25 Quote
but will it run onlive lol
TheStockBroker 11th February 2010, 15:38 Quote
Cloud computing, anyone?
SJS-1697 11th February 2010, 16:24 Quote
Im sure this is all a plan for Google to get out there OS to more computers this will increase the speed at which the cloud os will load.

Also the fiber link that i use on a regular basis is 1:1 and thats in the uk, and i get about 50mb both ways.

so just depends where you are and how its set up but im all for supporting the fast internet connection :)
RichCreedy 11th February 2010, 17:41 Quote
"experiment with new ways to help make broadband Internet access batter, faster, and more widely available,"

can you batter the internet, does it taste nice with chips
Redbeaver 11th February 2010, 17:44 Quote
not available for Canada.... booo :(
Blackie Chan 11th February 2010, 18:39 Quote
These are their devious plans.
Waynio 11th February 2010, 18:53 Quote
Originally Posted by Blackie Chan
These are their devious plans.

RichCreedy 11th February 2010, 19:01 Quote
Blackie you got the wrong date to post that one, 48/49 days early
TomH 11th February 2010, 19:26 Quote
Originally Posted by Stewb
Originally Posted by NuTech
Sure you're not talking about a Cable connection?

Yup, definitely fibre, ill check, its either 2Mb up or 4Mb up, certianly not as fast as the down though.
Unless you live in Bournemouth, there's little chance that you actually have a fibre optic cable coming into your house.

Most people seem to think that when Virgin Media say, 'It's fibre optic broadband!!!1', they're not talking **** - they are.

(Hopefully you really did know this, but any exposure to those lies is a very good thing. :))
RichCreedy 11th February 2010, 19:40 Quote
virgins fibre optic network, is fibre to the cabinet (fttc) which is what all the current bt customers will be getting, and fibre to the home (ftth) will be limited to new builds in most cases.
ZERO <ibis> 11th February 2010, 21:21 Quote
I would hope that ftth would not be limited to new builds becuase this would really kill off used home sales. In fact I would sell my house just to buy one that does have ftth.
dark_avenger 11th February 2010, 22:21 Quote
have to invest in a bunch of 2TB drives for all that porn legally download content
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 12th February 2010, 00:32 Quote
I'm not so Gung Ho about this whole cloud computing thing. It seems so "SKYNETISH" to me. As if the government can more easily spy on you and see exactly what your doing. They already store your data somewhere and can go through it at anytime.

Seems like the freedom of the internet is being used to imprison us.
Aracos 12th February 2010, 00:50 Quote
Leitchy 12th February 2010, 01:24 Quote
I prefer Nod32, but I think we are talking about *free* Virus/malware programs only here?
livesabitch 12th February 2010, 01:52 Quote
i think i would deffo change to google isp! i like all there work and think going for an isp is another step forward in thew right direction for the company, lets just see how the uk does with the fibre optic approach. would be nice too have a straight line to9 my home! fast speed! :)
dec 12th February 2010, 02:26 Quote

"Sure, one uses a giant Web crawler to index billions of pages, and the other uses a giant arsenal of automated nuclear super-weapons to extinguish the human race. But petty discrepancies aside, they're virtual twins."

Ami 12th February 2010, 18:12 Quote
The only technology that will allow Google to actually provide 1Gig to the customer with large uplink ,full interop and open network, is Active Ethernet. We have seen many municipalities over the past 10 years succeed in offering its residents this type of network using Active Ethernet.
There are important advantages for municipalities to deploy a high-speed FTTH network. Municipalities like Grant and Mason counties in Washington decided to use Active Ethernet when they built their network several years ago. As a result they have seen an increase in the number of small businesses and home-based businesses, larger businesses establishing facilities in the area and increased local goverment efficiency.
There are plenty of players out there that could offer them good cost-effective solution like Calix, Telco Systems Occam and others.

I hope that the Google activity will in fact serve as lobbying activity in the 14 states which have limited or banned this activity by city government. Incumbent telephone companies are reluctant to invest in upgrading their networks, so it is only through competition that we can hope to achieve open access and improve the lives of every citizen.
Crazyglue 13th February 2010, 10:20 Quote
i wonder if google would report you to the authorities if you were to use the 1Gb/s connection to download illegal torrents or using newsgroups for illegal downloads as well. im also curious if they do the same for the free dns servers..........
Star*Dagger 13th February 2010, 11:09 Quote
I wonder how many times that I have to mention that they are a US govt run shell company before people get it.
boiled_elephant 14th February 2010, 22:54 Quote
Ignoring the Google situation for a moment, Halfacree is the most awesome surname I've ever heard of.
8bit person 20th February 2014, 15:05 Quote
According to this story Google will be seriously stepping up it's ISP game stateside in the near future by bringing it's Fiber service to 34 new cities.
If the story does prove to be true we'll be getting a better sense of the services practical running speeds.
Sloth 20th February 2014, 22:45 Quote
Bringing even faster internet connections to metro areas which already have better connections than suburban and rural areas, woo.

Maybe I'm just bitter Seattle isn't on the list. I have to wonder if Microsoft's influence in the area has anything to do with it.
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