Telecom Pragmatics recent press release and report stating that Google’s Fiber for Communities project will be just a token effort misses the objective of Google’s project. Google has been very clear through its minimalist communications of its objectives for this project. They want to stimulate new applications, test new deployment techniques, and drive competition beyond the current duopolies. They do not want to become a carrier or service provider. They do not want to get into the business of building networks. Google simply wants to find a business model for building last-mile networks that will stimulate the deployment of ultra-high speeds at reasonable costs through competition. Whether they will do that in one or a couple communities is still up in the air. Google clearly states that they do not have the expertise to come up with a solution to the U.S.’s broadband deficiencies, but they are betting on the telecommunications industry and capitalism to find one.
Google is currently vetting over 1,100 RFI submissions to find the few finalists that assembled the appropriate players to test out a model for building an open-access municipal network. Their approach is different that the bureaucratic direction of the FCC with the National Broadband Plan. They know that they do not have all of the answers and are looking to the experts to develop some solutions. I applaud Google in their efforts and whether they select Boulder, Colorado or not, I will support their efforts to the fullest. Sam, Mark, and David at Telecom Pragmatics are smart guys and I know that they understand what Google is trying to accomplish. I trust that their report fully divulges Google’s true intentions. As a community that has been driving FTTH for two decades, we need to fully open our experiences to Google to make their little experiment a success.