(Article on Google's broadband initiative updated with Monday stock prices and additional commentary on Google.)
NEW YORK (
) -- Last week, TheStreet
broadband experiment would benefit Google by pushing Internet service providers to increase their performance, bringing more and faster traffic to the search engine. The decisive answer: yes.
Indeed, the affirmative response was overwhelming. More than 83% of poll-takers were sold on Google's idea, while just 16.8% said that while Google may be powerful, the company's efforts in this case are misguided.
The experiment has also been praised by former FCC (Federal Communications Commission) Chairman Michael Powell.
"The news this week that Google will be building and testing ultra-fast fiber-optic networks in selected cities is good news for customers and good news for the industry," Powell said in a blog on Broadband for America, for which he is an honorary co-chair. Indeed, Google's plan to unleash higher standards of Internet access across the U.S. is arguably important for both Google and the Internet community at large.
As Powell points out, while a Google, Yahoo, or Bing search can be performed over dial-up connections, none of these search engines are as useful without a broadband connection. "And it's private investment by broadband companies which makes future Google success stories possible," Powell writes. Google can only benefit by taking an active role in pushing for higher standards of high-speed Internet access across the country.
Google's timing for the broadband project apparently couldn't have been better. An independent review for the FCC by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University showed that U.S. broadband performance in the past decade has declined relative to other countries.
And already communities around the country are lining up to be included in the experimental service, which Google plans to offer to at least 50,000 -- and up to 500,000 -- people.
Google said it would be delivering Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans currently have access to: that's 1 gigabit per second.
Powell said this high-capital cost experiment couldn't have been possible without the cash that Google has generated through its success as a search and applications platform, as well as by being one of the U.S.'s leading advertising media.
For its part, the market is continuing the good vibes for Google Monday morning, with shares of the company changing hands at $546.01 an hour after the open of trading day, an increase of $5.25, or almost 1%, from Friday's closing price.
-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York
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