Cable Technology Feature Article
One Step Closer to World Domination? Google Wants to Be Your Cable Provider
By Rich Steeves, TMCnet Web Editor
In recent years “Google (News - Alert)” has become a verb, as in, “You don’t know the names of Daisy Duck’s nieces? Let me Google that for you.” That is how closely the company is associated with searching the Internet. But now, the search engine giant wants to be your cable company. Even better, it wants you to want it to be your cable company!
Recently, the people of Kansas City learned that they will be the beneficiaries of the Google Fiber project, which consists of a half-a-billion dollar fiber optic network. It is said that the residents of KC will be blessed with Internet speeds up to 100 times faster than the rest of us.
But now, in its next step toward being the Howard Stern of the 21st century (he was the self-proclaimed “King of All Media”), Google has revealed its intention to become a cable company. It wants to provide its customers with all of their favorite channels, just like the cable and satellite providers do. As part of the package, Google will provide HD quality programming, a DVR with a 500-hour HD capacity and apps for Android (News - Alert) tablets and the iPad.
It seems, however, that in this case, Google is NOT listening to the disembodied voice from Field of Dreams. Rather than taking the “If you build it, they will come,” philosophy, the company is banking on the fact that customers will demand these services. If you and your neighbors want Google to be your cable provider, you have to demand it. Google wants neighborhoods to petition for the service en masse so it will be sure to have enough customers in a particular area to ensure a profit.
This news may hit Google’s biggest rival for world domination, Dr. Doom – I mean Apple (News - Alert) – the hardest. Rumors have persisted for years regarding Apple’s desire to seize the market with its Apple TV or iTV, depending on who you ask. But the group that may be hardest hit by this development is Hollywood (and, by extension, the advertisers who work hand in hand with networks), as Google will be poised to have a say in many of the most common methods of content distribution and consumption. Still, it remains to be seen if this is a triumph akin to Google Maps, or a dud on the level of Google Buzz. I’ll just have to turn my TV to the Google News Network to find out for sure…
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey