Photo: Flickr/Charles Haynes
When two analysts visited Kansas City to check out “Google fibre,” they were blown away by it. They said it was lightning fast, fairly priced, and best of all, the installation guys showed up on time.
Google being Google, we don’t know if this is just a one off experiment to get the cable companies scared, or if it’s a real business.
Chairman Eric Schmidt gave us a hint about whether it’s an experiment or a real business today at the DealBook conference. Speaking on stage he called Google fibre an “experiment” initially, then he corrected himself and called it a “business,” since Google is charging for it.
He then added that Google is right now trying to figure out where to install Google fibre next.
If Google is serious about doing fibre, which is a massive threat to the cable industry, it’s not going to be cheap. Goldman Sachs estimates that it will cost $70 billion to cover half the country.
Schmidt said adding high-speed internet is something that can be transformative for the U.S.
He also added that there are some funny side benefits. For instance, he says a bunch of startups moved to Kansas City to take advantage of Google fibre. They were buying houses, so in a weird way Google fibre helped the housing market.
He was just joking around about that, noting that he didn’t think it would scale.