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Google’s Internet Service Might Actually Bring the U.S. Up to Speed

• David Talbot via TechnologyReview.com

Google’s effort to install a blazingly fast, gigabit-per-second fiber Internet service in the two-state metropolis of Kansas City—a speed 100 times faster than the national average—is a radical new business direction for the company, and perhaps provides an unorthodox model for how to rewire parts of the United States.

At one level, the project reflects Google's desire to keep developing new businesses by giving people ultrafast speeds and then offering experimental services like Google TV. But if Google’s business model for actually getting fiber built pans out, it may usher in a new era for privately built broadband.

Compared to many countries, the United States has slow and patchy Internet service. While a few areas enjoy very fast service, overall the United States ranks 24th worldwide in speed, with consumers receiving an average of 11.6-megabits-per-second download speeds.

An affordable service that is nearly two orders of magnitude faster began in one neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri, last Tuesday.

 

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