Google's plans to roll out fibre to the homes of up to 500,000 people could hide a much bigger, much more disruptive plan that could pit it directly against some of its most important partners.
Yesterday, the search engine giant announced that it would be deploying fibre optic to thousands of households, an infrastructure that could easily transport data at gigabit speeds, making the service offered by "competitors" like AT&T or Comcast about as competitive as the ZX81 against an Intel Xeon workstation (you get the picture).
Not content with potentially taking on cable networks (remember, Google owns Youtube as well), Google could take on nothing less than the mobile phone operators themselves by deploying next generation, femtocells equipped smart routers or set top box.
Google could possibly take a cue from BT's Home Hub which offers an intriguing feature that allows you to share your broadband access with the world and become part of the "world's largest WiFi Community" managed by FON.
Interestingly, FON has received significant backing from Google, Skype and Sequoia back in the 2006. There's nothing that could prevent Google from allocating 50 percent (that's 500mbps) worth of bandwidth to a shared, FON-esque, pool that could cover a particular area.
It doesn't require much imagination to forecast that Google could encourage users to use the WiFi capabilities on their mobile phones to make cheaper or even free phone calls either through Google Voice or through a third party.
Most smartphones come with WiFi anyway and Skype offers a Pay Monthly bundle that allows you to call the world (more exactly 40 countries including mobiles) for as little as £7 per month.
The possibilities are quasi limitless; near-perfect reception wherever you are, no need to worry about speed issues (WiFi speeds, even 802.11g, are much higher than 3G or even 4G) irrespective of the device and, we suspect, an affordable price.
The possibilities are quasi limitless; near-perfect reception wherever you are, no need to worry about speed issues (WiFi speeds, even 802.11g, are much higher than 3G or even 4G) irrespective of the device and, we suspect, an affordable price. Hell, we'll even pay £100 per month for something like that.