Google takes the high road – and stands to profit from it

Google is offering to provide ultra high-speed internet to 50,000-500,000 American consumers – and they’re doing it in the name of network neutrality. Long-time supporters of internet fredom, Google’s aims, though arguably noble, also land them a fair amount of financial return – by setting themselves up as paragons of Internet morals and virtue, they can continue to keep their incredibly loyal consumer base while winning more over as they expand into the ISP realms, after all. Perhaps more important, though, is the fact that a victory in the realm of network neutrality – especially if the FCC backs it with new “fifth principle” regulation – could largely eliminate the need for Google to do much extra in the realm of ISP work, as the United States would move away from specific corporate ownership of “the last mile” of infrastructure, which currently allows companies like Comcast to even contemplate the idea of tiered Internet. If Google is successful in its mission, it could stand to win the ability to offer completely unfettered services, like its growing line of web apps. Worth watching, this, and an excellent example of industry involvement in the issue of network neutrality.

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