Google, eBay And Amazon To AT&T: We'll Build Our Own Network

AT&T and the telcos are threatening to charge Google and other Web sites extortion-type fees unless Google and others pay for adequate bandwidth. But Google and others may soon have this answer for them: No, thanks. We'll build our own...

April 12, 2006

1 Min Read
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AT&T and the telcos are threatening to charge Google and other Web sites extortion-type fees unless Google and others pay for adequate bandwidth. But Google and others may soon have this answer for them: No, thanks. We'll build our own fat pipe into customers' homes. That's the speculation, anyway. Investor's Business Daily points out that big swaths of the wireless spectrum are about to go out to bid -- and whoever buys them could build a high-bandwidth wireless pipe into people's homes and businesses across the country.

I won't go into all the gory details, but there are two big blocks of spectrum up for sale, and Internet companies like Google are expected to bid on both.

Google, eBay, and Amazon could form their own consortium to spend the many billions of dollars needed to buy parts of the spectrum, and build a high-speed, nationwide wireless network.

Investor's Business Daily quotes George Dellinger, an analyst at research firm Washington Analysis, as saying "A consortium of new media companies could wind up leading the pack to buy that spectrum and provide a third (broadband) pipe into homes."

Sound far-fetched? Google is already building wireless networks in San Francisco and its home of Mountain View. The company is sitting on top of the biggest pile of cash south of Bill Gates -- probably close to $10 billion after a planned $2 billion new stock offering. It can afford to do it. And when it comes to cash, eBay and Amazon aren't slouches, either.So the network neutrality debate may blow up in AT&T's face. When it comes to buying bandwith, I'll choose Google over the telco dinosaurs any day of the week.

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