With Internet service providers including Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) currently kicking up controversy for charging high-traffic generating video programmers for special access to their networks, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) took the opportunity Wednesday to strategically position its nascent Google Fiber ISP service.
The topline from a post by Jeffrey Burgan, Google director of network engineering, on the company's blog: Google Fiber doesn't make such controversial deals.
Notably, Burgan writes that companies including Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Akamai are able to house their servers inside Google facilities--for free, electrical power included. Allowing them to position these servers closer to end users results in better streaming of high-definition video to subscribers.
"We give companies like Netflix and Akamai free access to space and power in our facilities and they provide their own content servers," Bergan notes. "We don't make money from peering or colocation; since people usually only stream one video at a time, video traffic doesn't bog down or change the way we manage our network in any meaningful way--so why not help enable it?
"But we also don't charge because it's really a win-win-win situation. It's good for content providers because they can deliver really high-quality streaming video to their customers. For example, because Netflix colocated their servers along our network, their customers can access full 1080p HD and, for those who own a 4K TV, Netflix in Ultra HD 4K. It's good for us because it saves us money (it's easier to transport video traffic from a local server than it is to transport it thousands of miles). But most importantly, we do this because it gives Fiber users the fastest, most direct route to their content."
Google Fiber's footprint is currently very small, serving a select group of subscribers in Kansas City and Provo, Utah, with plans to soon open shop in Austin, Texas. Of course, it will be interesting to see what happens when the ISP achieves nationwide status, and the myriad emerging Netflix competitors are up and running. Will Google have the wherewithal to let them all colocate without paying anything?
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