Apparently, entering the dark fiber business isn't so easy after all. Today on its official blog, Google announced that it needs another few months to choose in which community it will build that fabled 1Gbps fiber network that was the buzz of the internet so long ago. Well, 9 months ago anyway - seems like longer than that, doesn't it? So what's taking so long? Too many entrants - 1100 communities was far more than Google anticipated. But what did they expect?
Consider what happens if you walk into a dormitory complex on any university with a bullhorn and a huge stack of pizzas, and announce that there is now free pizza in the square and the most deserving student will get a lifetime supply. It doesn't matter where you are or how much pizza you brought, it is mathematically provable that you didn't bring enough. The same goes for politicians, free publicity, and projects that they don't have to pay for. Google is lucky they didn't get 10,000 official applications.
But on the other hand, what is so hard about this? Just freaking pick one already. Select the 100 that make the most sense, hire Vanna White, and spin a wheel or something already. There is no fair winner here, no single community that both deserves it the most and will serve as the perfect crucible. And even if there were, the rest will not agree with any decision made anyway. So let a bit of random chance take away some of all the work involved in evaluating every single application down to the last drop.
The hard part, which hasn't even started yet, is actually building the network.