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- Rumours mount over Google's internet plan
February 5, 2006, 6:43 am
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Google is working on a project to create its own global internet
protocol (IP) network, a private alternative to the internet
controlled by the search giant, according to sources who are in
commercial negotiation with the company.
Last month, Google placed job advertisements in America and the
British national press for "Strategic Negotiator candidates with
experience in...identification, selection, and negotiation of dark
fibre contracts both in metropolitan areas and over long distances as
part of development of a global backbone network".
Dark fibre is the remnants of late 1990s internet boom where American
web companies laid down fibre optic cables in preparation for high
speed internet delivery. Following the downturn in the technology
sector during the early 2000s, the installation process for many of
these networks was left incomplete. This has resulted in a usable
network of cables spread across the United States that have never been
switched on. By purchasing the dark fibre, Google would in effect be
able to acquire a ready made internet network that they could control.
Late last year, Google purchased a 270,000sq ft telecom
interconnection facilities in New York. It is believed that from here,
Google plans to link up and power the dark fibre system and turn it
into a working internet network of its own.
It was also reported in November that Google was buying shipping
containers and building data centres within them, possibly with the
aim of using them at significant nodes within the worldwide cable
network. "Google hired a pair of very bright industrial designers to
figure out how to cram the greatest number of CPUs, the most storage,
memory and power support into a 20- or 40-foot box<" Robert Cringely
wrote. "The idea is to plant one of these puppies anywhere Google owns
access to fiber, basically turning the entire Internet into a giant
processing and storage grid."
Google has long been rumoured to be planning to launch a PC to retail
for less than $100. The Google computers are likely to be low-grade
machines that require a connection to Google to be able to perform
functions such as word processing and spreadsheet manipulations. While
using the computers, it is understood that consumers will be shown
personalised advertising from the company's AdWords network.
The various reports prompted analysts Bear Stearns to note last year:
"We think Google could be experimenting with new hardware endeavours
that could significantly change potential future applications by
Google, creating another advantage for Google over its competitors.
Investors may currently under appreciate Google as a potential
The technology industry has also been alive with talk that the Google
$100 machines will be less like a standard home PC and more like a
television: in effect, one of the first convergent devices betweem the
internet and television. While offering the standard PC applications,
the "Google Cube" will also offer interactive content from a variety
of sources while retaining Google branding and displaying Google
A leading content provider, who did not wish to be named, told Times
Online: "We are in discussions with Google to provide content for
their alternative internet service, to be distributed through their
Google Cube product. As far as I'm aware they have been conducting
negotiations with a number of other players in our marketplace to
provide quality content to their users."
However, industry insiders fear that the development of a network of
Google Cubes powered over a Google-owned internet network will greatly
increase the power that Google wields over online publishers and
Should Google successfully launch an alternative network, it is is
theoretically possible for them to block out competitor websites and
only allow users to access websites that have paid Google to be shown
to their users.
However, the moves towards providing equipment for as little as £60
will prove popular with home users and even governments, who will
welcome the spread of the internet to homes that could not previously
afford the intital costs of purchasing PCs.
Contacted by Times Online today, a spokesperson for Google denied that
it had any such plans, before adding its customary rider: "It's
Google's policy not to comment on speculation concerning products
before they are launched."
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- Who Turned Off The Lights?
February 6, 2006, 12:53 am
Re: Rumours mount over Google's internet plan
One or more of the items there within were discouraged or said to have been
Yet regarding the data centers, Here's one online article:
As for Google's suggested ideas regarding a planned NYC network.
I tried finding an article I had read but I couldn't right now. Too lazy at
the moment. But I ask, does it mean
an openly accessible WiFi network of some sort? We'd welcome it
'least I would....considering how this article mentioned any such network
would be off by a decade at the very least in our area...and it was put
forth by local authorities!
That is, compared to the Earthlink-Philadelphia (city) plans: