Google Fiber Is Beginning to Look Like a Head Fake

Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) may not need to blanket the country with Fiber after all, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

According to a report in The Information (via Android and Me), the search king plans to supply businesses with low-cost Wi-Fi equipment for enabling broadband access at retail locations and the like. A recent deal with Starbucks to power Wi-Fi at its various locations could serve as a template for others.

Why should Google investors care? Tim says it's a sneaky way to build a comprehensive broadband infrastructure without incurring the hefty capital costs of a national Google Fiber network. Retailers benefit by giving customers reason to hang around their shops longer, increasing the odds of spending on higher-margin snacks and drinks.

Meanwhile, Google is also rallying behind Netflix in its fight to preserve net neutrality. In a post at its Google Fiber blog, director of engineering Jeffrey Burgan said the company provides "free access to space and power" for those shipping content around the Web. "Since people usually only stream one video at a time, video traffic doesn't bog down or change the way we manage our network in any meaningful way–so why not help enable it?" Burgan wrote.

The message: Google doesn't want a tiered, heavily managed Internet where Netflix pays Comcast for direct access. Instead, CEO Larry Page wants unfettered, high-speed access for anyone who wants to get online. That probably means disrupting the existing cable and Internet incumbents. Giving businesses low-cost Wi-Fi equipment looks to be a small step in that direction.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you see Google-supplied Wi-Fi and Google Fiber disrupting the existing broadband infrastructure? Why or why not? Please watch the video to get the full story and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Google stock at current prices.

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  • Report this Comment On May 27, 2014, at 11:21 PM, jnffarrell1 wrote:

    The most profitable customers want Google Fiber to reach their gated communities. Google does not have to reach more than 10% of telco/cableco customers to take 110% of their profits. Thats why anywhere that the last mile monopolists have highly profitable customers is getting fiber ASAP. Checklist communities have taken steps that make the time to complete construction for fiber 3x shorter than previously. If Comcast relies on bumbling bureaucrats to slow Google, Google will have completed stealing all the more profitable customers in three years.

  • Report this Comment On May 27, 2014, at 11:41 PM, segarolow4 wrote:

    The ComCast /Time Warner deal. And the At&T /Dish deal will just take over about 80% of the net.. And the caps will just bring down the online video. Like NetFlix.HULU, AMAZON, REDBOX, and Warner Bros online...

    When the B.S caps kick in. I will just go with NetFlix in the mail..And drop the rest!

  • Report this Comment On May 28, 2014, at 3:16 AM, hbk72777 wrote:

    jnffarrell1, that's exactly right. They're going to get people like me who have the "Ultimate" plan, or whatever top tier, maxed out, not enough bandwidth service our local providers provide.

    Comcast, Time Warner etc, they'll be stuck with the Grandmas who use the internet for emails and recipes and buy the cheapest plans.

    It serves them right. They complain people like me who use 500 -1000 gb a month are "stealing" (even though we pay for "unlimited"), yet the rest of the average neighborhood uses way less than what they pay for. Now, they can have those low end users, most of whom "bundle" anyway, so they're getting one of their 3 services free basically

    Oh well.

  • Report this Comment On May 28, 2014, at 7:59 AM, AudieMurphy wrote:

    A nationwide Fiber rollout is a years if not decades long project, a wi-fi stopgap is a sensible solution in the meantime. Reality is, with the speeds and prices much of the rest of the world enjoy, the internet and our uses for it could continue to grow giving us the interconnected society that bolsters that bolsters our economy and cooperation with the rest of the world. If the cable/isps with their caps and "fast lane" fees get their way US access will devolve into cable like tiered packages, where people pay for bundles of specific sites and apps, destroying the opportunities for anyone not already at their level and putting us behind the rest of the world scientifically, economically and culturally. Like it or not the internet has become the biggest tool in those areas since the phone and electricity, we get behind here and we'll give up first world superpower forever.

  • Report this Comment On May 28, 2014, at 4:16 PM, Styphon wrote:

    Lol....saying that Google is for net neutrality is laughable.

    If anyone thinks that Google doesn't already push its muscle around and modify and censor what you see and view on the internet you are deceived.

    Google will charge the use there personal fiber network to pick and choice which business and organizations succeed and which ones fail.

    Google is already way to politically involved and can not be trusted to be neurtal.

  • Report this Comment On May 29, 2014, at 11:34 AM, CKH0 wrote:

    Cell data has the best shot at really being disruptive to the cable/politician monopolies.

  • Report this Comment On May 30, 2014, at 1:38 AM, jnffarrell1 wrote:

    Gbit/sec 802.11 ac with beterments by Qualcomm et al will be used to fill in grandmas from towers connected to Google Fiber. Towers that can also be used to provide emergency services to the surrounding county.

  • Report this Comment On June 09, 2014, at 1:59 PM, zbeast wrote:

    Cellular is way to expensive and too slow to deal with last mile access to the internet.

    So far as google "censoring" what you see on the internet, that has nothing to do with "Net Neutrality".

    The thing's that google "censors" is what they are force to censor or stuff that would be unwanted by users, such as spam sites or links holes.

    Google fiber is going a great job in putting the fear of god into our current crapy internet providers. Slow speed, high billing rates. With data caps the cost of my internet has dubbed without it getting any faster.

    I don't work for google but i'm very pro on google fiber. We need some real completion in the internet market rather than conspirators trying to figure out how to get more money from me for the same crappy service.

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