Google, the world’s biggest online search engine service is putting out requests for information in the US to identify communities that want to help them experiment with building and testing ultra high-speed broadband networks.

On the Official Google Blog under the title “Think big with a gig: our experimental fiber network”, it says that Google are planning to deliver speeds of up to one hundred times faster than most Americans experience. What they’re looking at is one gigabit per second fibre into the home connections.

Google is putting this forward as an experiment. They want to see what developers and users can actually do with these types of high speed connections. They also want to look at new ways of deploying the service out to the world and will operate it as an ‘open access’ network to give users a choice of providers.

They are initially looking for a small number of communities to take part and said that the prices would be competitive. The initial aim is to build to service somewhere between 50,000 and 500,000 people. There are no plans to increase this further at present but it will all depend on how the trial goes.

Services at this sort of speed, say Google, would allow complex 2 and 3 dimensional medical data to be transmitted very quickly as well as reducing the time taken to download a film to about five minutes.

Looking at history, it was difficult at the dawn of computing to see how anyone would need more than one 1.44 MB floppy disc in their whole lifetime. Nowadays personal hard drive disc spaces of many gigabytes fail to keep up with demand.

It is therefore quite easy to envisage that applications and uses will emerge to fill the void that these high speed connections will provide. Already some connection speeds are no longer adequate for day to day use.

I think Google should extend the trial to the UK and I’m a volunteer!

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