It’s still unofficial, but with this many leaks it’s quite clear we’re way beyond the rumor stage. Google is doing what I never figured they’d do: taking their formula from demonstration to an actual multi-market footprint. The next city to get the Kansas City Gigabit Express: Austin, Texas.
Google has been rolling out fiber to neighborhoods in Kansas City and lately to the nearby suburbs for over a year now. But the addition of Austin changes things dramatically. To paraphrase an Asimov book from a while back, sometimes the only numbers that make sense are zero, one, and many – but not two.
In other words, zero makes sense if the model doesn’t work, while one makes sense if it works well enough to exist but not to reproduce. But all other positive numbers mean the same thing as each other – that the business model works, and presumably makes money.
Google didn’t have to leave the KC metro area to make the case for viability. The only reason you do that is to make more money than you could in just one market.
In other words, if Google follows through today and 1Gbps home connections for Austin are on the menu, then I hereby eat my own words. Google apparently does want to be a network operator.
The only question is how fast they want to make it happen, and just how good the financials in KC are to make them want to do it. And given the evolution beyond the demo, how will the incumbents respond to the threat?
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