Google looking to build European high-speed fiber network

After an experimental trial in the U.S., a Google executive hinted that Europe could be the next home for a high-speed fiber network.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google senior vice president David Drummond said on Friday that the search giant is considering deploying a high-speed fiber network to Europe, in a bid to widen high-speed Internet access across the continent.

In a meeting at the French Industry Ministry, Drummond said that the company is "looking very closely" at branching out the fiber-network to Europe, but failed to disclose any further details.

(Image source: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)

Google's offer may come at a time when Europe is mostly ahead in the world rankings of broadband speed, but still lags behind a developing 4G network in the United States, and already-established fiber networks and high-speed connectivity in East Asia.

As GigaOm reports, the Netherlands and parts of Scandinavia already deploy fiber to home communities, but has restriction-laden ISPs that filter content on the behalf of copyright holders.

The European Commission wants to broaden out broadband connections throughout the 27 member states, with at least 30Mbps made available to at least 500 million European citizens by 2020. Having said that, the logistics behind it would be difficult, at least without a private sector organisation investing money and resources into fulfilling the European Commission's aim.
But picking a country or section of Europe's busy continent will be difficult for Google, as over 1,100 cities petitioned Google when the company announced it would build an experimental network in the United States.

As the United Kingdom has one of the stronger economies, despite the increasing inflation costs amid the outcome of the recession, the UK's broadband speeds combined with its economical output factors would make the country a logical one. However, depending on the spread of the presumably non-experimental European network, it could be rolled out over mainland Europe to localise fiber connectivity across multiple countries at a lower cost.

Google's European fiber dreams will be some years away yet, however. It took over two years to reach the point it is currently at in Kansas City, yet still remains a small off-shoot project for the search giant.


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