Today, Google announced the expansion of its Internet services to 34 new cities across the United States.
The following can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Senior Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge:
“Any time there's a prospect that Internet users anywhere might have better service, it's good news. Google's announcement puts lie to the often-repeated claim that Americans somehow simply don't want or don't need better broadband service. Home users, business, and jobs depend on it.
“When incumbents fail to invest in their networks and opt instead for a strategy of 'harvesting' their existing networks and collecting high bills for bad service, new entrants like Google have a chance to come in and replace them. This is especially true as newer network technologies, like fiber to the home, mature and show they are able to provide better service than copper-based service. We should welcome new investment, whether it comes from deep-pocketed companies like Google, community or municipal providers, or even from incumbents who start to realize that their position is not unassailable.
“We should hold Google to the same standards we demand from all network providers. It should provide its service to all communities and neighborhoods, not just those able to afford a premium service. It should operate an open and nondiscriminatory network and otherwise protect the public interest.
“Finally, this announcement does not change the basic economics of broadband, nor does it mean that Google or any other new entrant is in a position to challenge the nationwide dominance of large providers like Comcast. While everyone should welcome this new investment, it cannot and will not deliver competition overnight, and it may never reach the majority of consumers. We therefore need ongoing oversight of broadband and video markets to prevent abusive and anticompetitive practices.”
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