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ISP BE Broadband UK Criticises Googles Fibre Optic Broadband Plans

Posted: 18th Feb, 2010 By: MarkJ
fibre optic broadband cableThe Head of Operations at popular UK ISP Be Broadband has warned that the "true freedom" of the Internet could be damaged if Google is allowed to start building its own fibre optic broadband networks.

The comment follows news last week that Google will build a 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Home ( FTTH ) network in the USA and trial it with up to 500,000 people (here). On the surface this is good news but there are concerns about how much power it could give them.

BE's Head of Operations, Tom Williams, said:

"Although it’s great to push boundaries and continue to demonstrate the value of high bandwidth services, monopolies are never good, and you’d have to question the true freedom of the web if one company became so dominant.”

BE's Online Product Manager, Alinna Chung, added:

"Faster broadband and challenging providers who have rested on their laurels for too long is awesome, but I don’t really like the idea that Google will know everything I do with my connection, even if I opt-out of their normal services.

If they have a point of disagreement with a specific governing institution, are they going to be able to completely cut me off from information if I depend on them for both my access and my source of information?

I think Google means well, but ultimately, diversifying sources/dependencies means that people can maintain their freedom."

It's quite understandable that telecommunications and Internet access providers are likely to be worried. Giving one company so much control over both access and content carries a fairly sizable risk and Google's reputation with online privacy isn't exactly pristine either.

BE also has its own plans to consider (here), having revealed a day before Google’s news that it too had the ambition to build its own fibre optic broadband network, albeit in the UK; regulation permitting.
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