The Broadband Game

Robert Cringely writes why Google will win:

Parked at the peering point, sitting on the same SONET ring as the local telephone company, Google will have done as much as it possibly can to reduce any network disadvantage. By leveraging its own fiber backbone Google not only further avoids such interference, it has a chance to gain a step or two through better routing or more generous backbone provisioning. What’s stored IN the data centers is important, but how they are CONNECTED is equally important.

The other part of the strategy is the gBox or gCube or — how about this one, the gSpot? — Google’s interface device, which might be Google’s version of the “Home Gateway.” Another example would be France Telecom’s Livebox (or the number two French ISP Free’s Freebox, which is even better), integrating video, Internet, and VoIP. And if you check out the latest Xbox or PS/2 releases, you’ll see everyone is heading that same way, from different starting points in the home. But the gSpot strategy is completely different. Where the company is deliberately deciding NOT to compete against the infrastructure builders on the street corner, they plan to overwhelm all players inside homes and businesses.

Who is going to win the triple play? It doesn’t matter. Who is going to win the game? Any player with deep pockets and no particular technological dependency. At this point that could be Yahoo or Microsoft or AOL or some new player altogether, but it probably means Google.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.