IHS: Don't expect Google Fiber to go nationwide

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.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

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.

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