To me, this plan is a simple bait to lure customers on the forthcoming (?) Google TV' offering. It misses to address a couple of fundamental points : Open Neutral Access (meaning the possibility for any operator to come on the platform and deliver its own services to its own customers), and Usages (how about non-telecommunications apps, such as Energy Management, Personal Care, etc. ?).
Since the very begining of the Kansas City project 2 years ago, I keep saying that Google doesn't have a clue about the real stuff re. Fiber-To-The-Home, and is doing this only to test some subtle ways to make money on Search-related things through a closed-environment disguised as a open infrastructure.
I agree 100% with everything Ryan says, including of course the lack of real, "physical" presence of Google at the customer.
Also, I'm extremely satisfied to read from someone else the fact that Google hasn't connected a single strand of fiber to a house as of today.
Now, guess what : back in late 2008, I invited Google to discuss with us here in France, to set up a lab on the Pau Broadband Country ultrafast, open, neutral, muni network. Four years later, I keep thinking it would have saved the company time & money. Knowing what's happening (or better, not happening) in Kansas City, I'm convinced it would have also saved Google from an inevitable failure.
Here is the transcript of my email to the Google Exec here in France, sent on Jan. 14, 2009. Of course, we never got a reply.
Google Lab @ Pau Broadband Country ?
First of all, I wish you and your loved ones a happy and peaceful new year. I sincerely hope 2009 will see lots of your dreams come true.
It is time for me to follow-up on our short discussion at the XYZ' breakfast last december in Paris. I would like to discuss with you and the Google France management team the opportunity for you Google to set up an R&D Lab in Pau-Pyrénées: it is a given that Google could leverage on the capabilities of the Pau Broadband Country' FTTH network...
I have shared a couple of documents with you, for your to get a better picture of what we are doing in Pau. That includes the "Campus THD3" Training & Demo Center, which could be a fantastic opportunity for Google to demonstrate and implement its numerous solutions in a true "open neutral" environment.
Let's discuss all those possibilities, at your convenience. You can reach me anytime anywhere, on my cell: +33 681 xxx xxx (no Android-powered, sorry ;-) and email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward hearing from you soon,
All the best,
Now, if a Google Exec wants to talk with me on that, feel free : you know how to reach me Guys !