Hey ISPs, Google Wants to Share Its Fiber Network

Google’s (s goog) planned experimental fiber network will be so open that the company hopes to see other ISPs ride it in order to deliver their own services, according to a story by BroadbandBreakfast.com. The publication quotes a project manager in charge of the program (whom we’ve also interviewed before), as saying:

“We definitely inviting the Comcasts, the AT&T service providers to work with us on our network, and to provide their service offering on top of our pipe – we’re definitely planning on doing that,” said Minnie Ingersoll, Google’s product manager and co-lead for alternative access. “Our general attitude has been that there’s plenty of room for innovation right now in the broadband space, and it’s great what the cable companies are doing, upgrading to DOCSIS 3.0, but no one company has a monopoly on innovation.”

Although I can’t imagine any of the larger ISPs taking Ingersoll up on the offer, it deos represent a chance for them to get away from being dumb pipes by truly proving the value of the services they offer to their users. And in the process, they could try to overload Google’s network with their content, as they accuse Google of doing to their own networks. Except that Google’s small network would be fiber-to-the-home, rather than a a more easily-congested cable or copper pipe.
While Ingersoll didn’t share when Google might announce which of the 1,100 municipalities that applied for the fiber network to be built in their town, she did say she was evaluating them based on “the efficiency with which such networks could be rolled out, and how the targeted communities could benefit from the roll-out of such a network,” according to BroadbandBreakfast.com. As much as I’d like to see that fiber installed in my city, I’m even more excited to see how the whole project plays out in terms of costs and what it can show us about the economics of delivering fiber to the home.
Related GigaOM Pro content (sub req’):
Google Buzz, Fiber and Their Place in the Smart Grid