Google is eyeing Europe as a possible location for building a high-speed fiber network, according to a Google executive’s statements.
Google Senior Vice President David Drummond said at a French Industry Ministry meeting Friday the company was “looking very closely” at building an experimental, Google Fiber-like project somewhere in Europe, MarketWatch reported.
Google Fiber is one of Google’s many projects focusing on creating a faster Internet. Most of Google’s speed-oriented projects are on the developer side — new web standards, new programming languages, etc.
However, Fiber is a user-side experiment that will give normal people in normal communities insanely fast access to the web. The fiber in question is a fiber-optic strand of glass as thin as a strand of hair. The fiber transmits light to send and receive information, much more information than can be conducted through metal wires. Google says its fiber networks will be able to achieve speeds of 1 gigabit, around 100 times faster than a typical broadband connection.
For its inaugural project in fiber optic connectivity, Google chose to build out a network in Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO. Google announced the partnership with the city back in May; by the end of July, engineers were surveying the area and kicking the metaphorical tires.
Based on Google’s progress with building the fiber network in Kansas City, we do know that if and when the company decides to build a similar network in Europe, the community in question may experience some economic competitive advantage. Google will likely be hiring local contractors to build the network and will also likely keep local green initiatives top of mind. The company’s priorities seem to focus on giving access to schools, public benefit organizations and consumers first, but small and local businesses are also part of the plan.
Right now, with just a single project in a relatively small community in the U.S., it’s unlikely that Google would roll out a private, EU-wide fiber network. We’ve contacted Google for more details and will update you as more information becomes available.