Today Google announced that despite (or because of) the glacial pace of broadband rates in North America, it’s going to show Ma Bell how it’s done and do gigabit fibre to homes for what it calls a competitive rate.
Imagine sitting in a rural health clinic, streaming three-dimensional medical imaging over the web and discussing a unique condition with a specialist in New York. Or downloading a high-definition, full-length feature film in less than five minutes. Or collaborating with classmates around the world while watching live 3-D video of a university lecture. Universal, ultra high-speed Internet access will make all this and more possible. We’ve urged the FCC to look at new and creative ways to get there in its National Broadband Plan – and today we’re announcing an experiment of our own.
We’re planning to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the United States. We’ll deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. We plan to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.
Sounds great. Now let me read you that first sentence again:
Imagine sitting in a rural health clinic, streaming three-dimensional medical imaging over the web and discussing a unique condition with a specialist in New York.
That’s right, imagine you’re in some rural backwater. OK, I’m done imagining. I’m there now, and I’m not alone. There’s lots of people who don’t live on the Google MV campus. So don’t get me all excited with the word “rural” if you don’t really, really mean it. Don’t pretend that you care about anything other than half-a-dozen major cities if you don’t. That’s what my government and our national telcos are for, where major new infrastructure means giving more to those that already have everything, and “national” upgrades have nothing to do with the geography of a nation.
But if you really meant to start that sentence with the word “rural” in it, if that was on purpose, then, man, this is really going to be something.