Google May One Day Become the Biggest Internet Provider in the U.S.

alphabet-googl-logoIt might take decades, but Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is serious about its fiber network expansion, which is great news for consumers. It’s only a question of how long it takes to defeat the current cabal of ISPs that everybody loves to hate.

I don’t know a single person who likes their internet service provider. Even if their home or office internet is very fast and reliable, just a single customer service call — or a gander at this month’s bill — is usually enough to send a consumer over the edge.

Google is looking to change all that by bringing its ultra-fast fiber optic network to everyone. Or maybe not everyone, but most people. Eventually. If you live in a major city, your chances are at least pretty good that you’ll get access to Google Fiber within the next ten years.

It’s not that Google isn’t trying hard enough to expand. More often than not, Google’s hurdles are litigious rather than technical, more fighting city hall than fighting slow infrastructure.

The old guard of Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, and others are doing everything possible to block Google’s expansion. In Nashville, for example, AT&T and Comcast are lobbying against a bill that would allow Google to use utility poles to run its wires. AT&T even filed a lawsuit in Louisville aimed at blocking fiber.

The odds are stacked against Google, but the payoff is worth it. As Business Insider reports, the U.S. lags most other developed nations in terms of fiber availability:

fiber-penetration

With nearly 90% of the country stuck with relatively slow internet speeds, there’s clearly a huge opportunity to offer consumers a better service at a lower price.

It’s also worth noting that current ISPs could do what Google is doing themselves, but they won’t, because they don’t have to. There’s so little competition in most markets for high-speed internet that they can just sit back and charge subscribers an arm and a leg for subpar service.

Here’s hoping that Google Fiber finally gets to the majority of us sooner than later.

Alphabet shares closed at $806.96 on Friday, up $9.71 (+1.22%). GOOGL shares have risen 3.72% year-to-date, trailing the S&P 500′s 7% gain in the same period.

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