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Google Puts Its Weight Behind FttH

The blogs are flying all around the world—some seem to get it right but most do not.

My analysis of Google’s announcement to become involved in building FttH networks is actually the same as the one as I made when that company announced its plans to build wireless city networks, and when it announced its intention to invest in submarine cable networks.

The company has a vested interest in making sure that the digital economy is developed and, like most others, it is frustrated by the extremely slow pace at which the telcos are upgrading their networks. They will do anything to nudge the process along, or to kick-start developments. I remain of the view that Google has no intention whatsoever of becoming a telco; that would not make any sense. So all those endless blog discussions (mainly in the USA) about what underlying business model Google will base its FttH model on, and what the costs per house will be to lay fibre, are utterly useless.

The company will want to establish a business model for high-speed telecoms infrastructure. FttH will produce this model along the lines of the trans-sector synergy that this will create, as we have been discussing in various BuddeComm reports. Many telcos insist that there is no business model for this, but Google is now placing its resources behind such investments, to show how economically viable business cases can be developed. Their projects can become demonstration sites that are able to be replicated elsewhere.

The initiative also supports those countries and those companies that have been advocating the need for FttH infrastructure in conjunction with trans-sector services (healthcare, education, public safety, etc). This will most certainly support this concept within the political, business or investment circles where these plans are being discussed.

Google has indicated it wants to cooperate with municipalities in the rollout of these networks. Perhaps they should extend this and consider at least sharing their results and using these demo sites for national and regional government purposes as well, which might be more appropriate in other parts of the world.

In Australia, Google is very supportive of this government’s planned NBN rollout and has already indicated that it will actively support this development, they don’t see a need to develop their own FttH networks in such a situation.

By Paul Budde, Managing Director of Paul Budde Communication

Paul is also a contributor of the Paul Budde Communication blog located here.

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