The Atlantic, August 1, 2012
It is worth reading this recent posting by Christopher Mitchell, on the Community Broadband Networks site, for an angle of the Google-vs.-all-comers battle not usually featured in the mainstream press. That angle is Google’s significantly cheaper cost structure for data-movement of all kinds, and the commercial and technological possibilities this opens for the company.
To return to one of my hobby horses: this is the corporate version of the advantage that countries or regions have when their transport / communication / utilities infrastructure is better than someplace else’s. You don’t have to know exactly what your roads — railroads, airports, seaports, data lines — will be used for. It doesn’t matter: almost anything that people choose to do will be faster, cheaper, more responsive if it operates in this more favorable environment. The unfortunate corollary — unfortunate for the modern United States — it that almost anything that people try to do with decaying infrastructure will be slower, more expensive, and worse.