Google on Wednesday said that it plans to build a series of experimental high-speed networks that will provide broadband connectivity at speeds 100 times beyond typical U.S. broadband connections.
Under The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed into law in February 2009, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was directed to create a National Broadband Plan to promote better online communication and scientific, economic, and cultural development.
Google has been advising the FCC on the plan’s development. With 35 days until the FCC unveils its plan, Google has decided to build high-speed broadband networks in a small number of test locations. The company is promising Internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second, through fiber-to-the-home connections.
Google said it will offer network access to between 50,000 and 500,000 people at a competitive prices.
“We doing this because we want to experiment with new ways to make the Web better and faster for everyone, allowing applications that would be impossible today,” said Google product manager James Kelly in a video.
Examples of such applications include 3D medical imaging over the Web, downloading high-definition feature films in less than five minutes, and collaborating with geographically dispersed classmates while watching a live, 3D lecture.
Google expects that the availability of high-speed Internet access will allow developers to create new applications that haven’t yet been imagined.
The company says that its experimental networks will be operated under “open access” principals, so that users have a choice of service provider, and that its networks will be managed in an open, transparent, and non-discriminatory way.
Google is soliciting involvement from community partners through a Request For Information (RFI). Government officials and members of the public can nominate their communities to be test participants at Google’s Web site before March 26.