Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Google looking to enter pay-TV as part of Google Fiber project

When Google announced its Google Fiber ultra high-speed broadband project, it said it wasn't interested in becoming an ISP. Well, then, how about a pay-TV service, instead?

Reportedly Google hasn't made up its mind yet, but the company has filed the necessary paperwork for a video franchise license with the Missouri Public Service Commission. Such a license would enable the Internet giant to deliver content to TVs there.

It's expected that Google will file for a similar license in Kansas.

Why those two states? Google Fiber is rolling out to Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO, and is expected to begin service by late June of this year. Google will simply use the same fiber-optic cables to deliver TV, becoming competition for Time-Warner Cable.

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Google Fiber promises speeds of up to 1Gbps, which would be about 100 times faster than the national average.

Things could get interesting. Although Google TV (on television sets) hasn't exactly taken off, it's possible that viewers in both Kansas Citys could watch YouTube on their Google TV (sets) on the Google TV service.

It also brings up the question: is this really just an experiment, or will Google change its mind in that respect. Google Fiber was designed as an experiment because, quite naturally, the faster content reaches Internet users, the better for Google. But this could be a new revenue stream for Google, or really, two new revenue streams, as well as a new place for Google's Adsense.

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