Google Fiber's expansion into Shawnee, other areas part of a 'ripple effect,' analysts say

Orlando -- Google Fiber's (Nasdaq: GOOG) expansion into Shawnee, Kan., is only part of a "ripple effect" that the 1 Gbps fiber to the home service is causing within the telecommunications space, according to an analysis of the service by financial experts.

Google has been pushing the FTTH service throughout the Kansas City area, competing with the likes of Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and generally "creating a complete ripple effect across the entire (telecom) industry," said Dmitry Netis, senior equity research analyst at William Blair during a panel session at GENBAND's Perspectives13 conference in Orlando last week.

By encouraging the use of ultra-high-speed broadband connectivity, Google Fiber "creates an opportunity for the investment community to look at new innovative companies," he continued.

George Notter, managing director of equity research-communications equipment at Jefferies & Company, took a more cynical view of the service, noting that it is primarily an exercise in pushing traditional service providers to build out more fiber.

"This is just about playing a game with the FCC," Notter said.

In Shawnee, where the city council voted to welcome the service, residents probably are more in agreement with Mark Sue, managing director, senior technology equity research analyst at RBC who stated, "The more the better when it comes to bandwidth."

Google, of course, takes the view that it's working with communities to improve their communications. In Shawnee, for example, Google is "impressed by (the city's) vision to keep their citizens involved using the Internet," wrote Google Fiber Community Manager Rachel Hack in a Google blog entry. "Google Fiber--and widespread connectivity throughout Shawnee--will be a great complement to the great work the city is already doing."

When Google Fiber and its accompanying IPTV service launches in Shawnee is still to be determined.

"We still have a lot of planning and engineering work to do before we're ready to bring fiber to Shawnee, so we don't have an estimate for when the service will be available yet," Hack wrote.

For more:
- Google posted this blog entry

Show coverage: GENBAND's Perspectives13: Continuing coverage from Orlando

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