I, Cringely – Google Bought The Internet

Fantastic read from Cringely entitled, When Being a Verb is Not Enough: Google wants to be YOUR Internet.

Google loves secrecy. That they’ve been acquiring fiber assets hasn’t been a secret, but the sheer volume of these acquisitions HAS been. Why? One thought is that it kept down the price since people didn’t really know it was Google snatching up this stuff (they’ve done it under a number of different corporate names). But if price was the issue, then why hasn’t Google just bought the companies that own the fiber? It made no sense until I scratched my head and thought a bit further, at which point it became obvious that Google wants to — in its own way — control the Internet. In fact, they probably control it already and we just haven’t noticed.

For the conspiracy theorists, Cringely’s observation are a goldmine. But I have to confess, much of what he says has a ring of truth, and it’s a little scary.

Of course this doesn’t answer the question why Google needs so much capacity in the first place, but I have a theory on that. I think Google is building for a future they see but most of the rest of us don’t. I’ll go further and guess that Google is planning to build similar data centers in many states and that the two centers they are apparently preparing to build here in South Carolina are probably intended mainly to SERVE South Carolina. That’s perhaps 100,000 servers for four million potential users or 40 users per server. What computing service could possibly require such resources?

The answer is pretty simple. Google intends to take over most of the functions of existing fixed networks in our lives, notably telephone and cable television.

Google checkout, print ads, radio ads, scholar, patent search, the youtube purchase, cell phones should be free, etc. Add telephone and cable, and Google infiltrates every aspect of our lives.

Cringely’s article is well worth reading.


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