Just recently, Google (GOOG) was awarded permission to offer TV and Internet services in the Kansas City area. This new, ultra-fast fiber network is something that has been in the works for years, and Google has finally deemed it suitable for the masses. Although for now the service will only be available in Kansas City, that appears to be temporary.
About a month and a half ago, Google was caught searching for a Google Fiber sales associate in California. It's clear that Google's plan is to offer an Internet service rivaling that of the dominant cable titans such as Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner (TWX).
This has massive implications for the future of Google's advertising business and expanding tech dominance. Reports indicate that Google is planning to offer a pay TV service, which you can watch on your Android tablet or smartphone as well. This means Google could start to take market share of the TV advertising market. This is especially convenient for Google who already has millions of clients advertising through its Google Adwords services. It wouldn't be that crazy for Google to offer TV advertising (via Google Fiber) for existing Adwords clients.
Google has the opportunity to bridge the gap between Internet and TV advertising with Google Fiber. Offering its users an easy choice (or combination) of the two services would put it miles ahead (in terms of offerings) of any other online advertising service. This would further cement Google's monopoly on online advertising for small business.
Google has been buying up massive amounts of 'dark fiber' since 2005. Now Google is committing to Internet speeds of 1gb per second. That's almost 100x faster than the average American's current Internet service.
Unless traditional cable companies can figure out a way to match this temporarily unparalleled speed, they won't have a chance of survival. Total Internet traffic is expected to quadruple from 2010 to 2015. The biggest driver of this growth? Flat panel televisions, whose traffic is expected to increase 1,063%. With lightning fast speeds that can handle unreasonable amounts of data, Google will soon be far ahead (of the current competition) in potential TV offerings.
On July 26th, a Google Spokesperson confirmed cable companies worst fears by stating, "We'll be looking at ways to bring ultra high-speeds to other communities."
The potential of Google Fiber seriously dwarfs almost every other one of Google's projects. It's clear that consumers' new thirst for massive amounts of data will not be satisfied by traditional cable companies in the near future. Google has found a strategic way to meet this demand, and integrate it with almost every other one of its services. The media content offered through the TV service will most likely be in the form of Google Play. Google Fiber (just broadband) customers will have access to 1tb (yes, that's a terabyte) of service via Google Drive (cloud based storage). And Google Fiber customers, with the TV service, will get 2tb's of DVR storage. Google's Nexus 7 tablet will act as a controller for the service, and content can stream to any Android device or even an iPad.
Google Fiber ties it all together.
In September 2012, Google Fiber will be connected to its first clients. This is clearly the new wave of consumer Internet connection (fueled by the surge for more data) and is going to completely revolutionize the traditional TV/Internet landscape. Although it's too early to tell just what kind of financial impact this will have on Google's bottom line, it's potential is enormous.
The combined market capitalization of Direct TV (DTV), Time Warner and Comcast is ~$150 billion. Google Fiber is threatening to make all of those services (and many more) obsolete in the next 5-10 years. Cable TV/Internet is a relic of the past and Google is ushering it out the door faster than anyone thinks.