Google Fiber is not a hobby, execs say.
The LA Times reports that during Google's fourth-quarter earnings call, CEO Larry Page and CFO Patrick Pichette made it perfectly clear that its Google Fiber project in Kansas City is not a ""hobby", that the search engine giant plans to extend its Gigabit internet service to other cities. Google has actually made this very clear for a while now, and Eric Schmidt even admitted last month that Google Fiber is a real business.
"We're trying to decide where to expand next," he said during the New York Times' Dealbook conference in December without divulging any additional information.
On Wednesday, Larry Page said it's been great to see the success with the initial rollout in Kansas City, but the company is still in the early stages. In fact, Google is gearing up to add even more "fiberhoods" in the Kansas City area including Piper Schools, Delaware Ridge, Painted Hills, Open Door and Arrowhead.
"People just love the product," Pichette added. ""It’s not a hobby. We really think we should be making a good business with this opportunity. We are going to continue to look at the possibility of expanding."
Pichette acknowledges that consumers are "dying" to get Gigabit internet in their area, but right now Google is "debugging" the product and the overall experience for its users. Currently Google Fiber customers are experiencing 760 Mbps download speeds and 720 Mbps upload speeds.
Last week, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski challenged broadband providers and state and municipal community leaders to have at least one gigabit Internet community in each state by 2015. To help communities meet this challenge, Genachowski revealed plans to create a new online clearinghouse of best practices to collect and disseminate information about how to lower the costs and increase the speed of broadband deployment nationwide.
"American economic history teaches a clear lesson about infrastructure," Genachowski said. "If we build it, innovation will come. The U.S. needs a critical mass of gigabit communities nationwide so that innovators can develop next-generation applications and services that will drive economic growth and global competitiveness."