IHS: Don't expect Google Fiber to go nationwide

IHS: Don't expect Google Fiber to go nationwide

Summary: Google Fiber has been on a small surge lately with a number of new small town stops, but some analysts are skeptical about a nationwide tour.


Here's some buzzkill news to get your day started (at least for those of us on the West Coast).

Market intelligence firm IHS iSuppli has published a new report suggesting it is unlikely that Google will deploy Fiber on a nationwide level.

The natural first reaction might be annoyance with this, but when you think about the cost, scope and scalability of such an endeavor, these analysts are likely right -- at least for the near-term future.

Certainly, Google Fiber has been on a roll lately. Following up its initial deployment in Kansas City, Google then spread the Gigabit Ethernet connectivity elsewhere in the state of Missouri.

Then Fiber got even more attention with deployments in the tech startup friendly cities of Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah, both of which were announced around the same time in April.

The addition of Austin as Fiber-powered town alone sparked an immediate competition with AT&T (among other mobile broadband providers) to step up its own fiber-optic deployment.

Given how much money and resources that the Internet giant has worldwide, it's easy to see how people might take a long leap to the conclusion (or hopes, at least) that Google would just go all in at this point.

IHS senior analyst Dexter Thillien brings everything back into perspective in the report -- especially in regards to some of the more experienced players in the broadband market.

While the deployment of Google Fiber to the cities may capture attention, the company’s plans are miniscule compared to what its competitors undertake in the overall market. AT&T and Verizon have spent many billions of dollars establishing fiber networks in larger population centers, something Google is unlikely to be able to match.

Nevertheless, that doesn't mean nationwide Google Fiber service will never happen -- not to mention it could be a payoff for the Android maker in more ways than one.

Here's a forecast from the report, suggesting how Fiber could benefit Google's core product lines and strengths -- especially search, data and the mobile device market:

However, if the fiber experiment is successful for Google, it may very well become a long-term undertaking for the company. This would allow Google to expand its activities beyond and leverage its entire ecosystem, which increasingly is encompassing a variety of business models and devices.

Google’s fiber experiment also may serve as a test to see how consumers might use more bandwidth, and inform the company about the sort of needs consumers might have over the next decade or so. This would help Google to develop products that meet these needs.

Topics: Mobility, 4G, Google, Networking

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  • Gucci Fiber Not

    Why should anyone care if the brand on their local Fiber is not Google. Local businessmen everywhere know that Gbit/sec two way hardware for networks will be available anywhere they want to do it in 2015. The effort to get their business plans and local easements will be rewarded when their favorite towns, hospitals and colleges get Fiber and wideband Wifi through their planning effort. If Telcos and Cablecos choose not to lose the last mile, they will have to compete.
    • What?

      I think this post caused my brain to hemorrhage.
  • Google's objectives with Google Fiber?

    Spur the industry to:

    1. increase its throughput
    2. decrease its prices

    U.S. broadband is both slow and expensive relative to other advanced countries in the world today.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • Exactly Google wants the industry moving

      "AT&T and Verizon have spent many billions of dollars establishing fiber networks" is a complete ridiculous statement. They ran the line to town and never deployed them because they were getting subsides. They never ever intended to release fiber to the general public. Too much money to make of off the tiny tiny bandwidth they do offer. At&t was never, and probably still won't get around to, offering fiber to the masses in Austin.
    • Google's objectives with Google Fiber

      Spy on more people. After all, that is what Google does. Their business model is to sell advertising and to do that more effectively, they need to profile more people as accurately as possible.
  • Google Fiber everywhere

    Google's low-cost unmetered, unfiltered low-latency gigabit fiber to the home and business will be an economic boon to every community that gets it. Since the beginning the biggest holdup has been that it takes longer to negotiate with the cities than to run the fiber. In order to achieve major market rollouts Google needs to scale their negotiating and legal teams to counter incumbent provider "goal line defense" as well as their installer resources.

    They can do it. I believe in them.

    Articles like this are what happens when the incumbents go to the analysts and say "sell us a whitepaper that says we don't have to compete with this." They need a report like this because their customers are starting the revolt already, refusing long term contracts just in case Google is right around the corner. They need to be able to point to a paper and say "See? Analyst X says Google's not going to save you from us. Bwhahahaha!"
  • Of Course Google doesn't intend to let Fiber go nationwide.

    Its too expensive to start with and it takes a lot of time to install the proper components into the streets and into people's homes. Google's objective is to expand enough to pressure and scare the other ISPs to lower their prices and increase their internet speed.
  • Demonstration product

    Google stated in the beginning that these system were proof of concept installations. The current ISPs are always crying that it won't work. If Google proves them wrong they loose that argument. Nothing beats a working product to silence the critics.