The US is an interesting place. When I first started visiting I was always somewhat confused to find that things like banks, police and schools are run at a surprisingly local level. In the UK there are really only 5 banks serving all 60 million people in the US there are close to 7,000 banks serving 300 Milion. The same goes for TV and radio stations many more per city than the UK equivalents. Other areas in there is much less choice. You are probably limited to perhaps a couple of cable companies who have of In recent years we have seen the cable giant’s go from just being the gatekeepers for TV to essentially controlling out TV telephone and Internet with all the premium content that goes with it.
What is justifiably scaring the cable guys to death is the end user driven movement to “cut the cable”. Folks are just sick to death of paying hundreds of dollars a month to cable giants for content they don’t want and never use. Whilst it’s been reasonably easy for folks to figure out that they really don’t need a home land line (I know literally nobody with one…everyone lives on their cells) historically it’s been harder to dump the cable company in favor of Netflix Amazon Prime and Hulu+ when it’s the cable company providing online access.
Here’s where Google could play a role. For a good while there have been various rumors circulating that Google has been buying up “dark fiber” (that’s not a bond villain) The theory is that they want to get into the business of supplying high speed internet access to households and WiFi to entire cities. As with everything tech San Francisco will get first bite at the cherry but here are 34 other cities in addition to the couple already hooked up who appear to be on the fast track to get Google Fiber. Add to that the ChromeCast device which let’s users enjoy premium services like Netflix on their big screens without any cable company interruption it’s not too hard to see an emerging plan. If you wanted to get a little further ahead of the curve imagine a world where the searches you made on Google are used to individualize content or commercials to every device you run on your Google powered wifi network. Once again Google offers us cool and creepy in the same package. The difference here is that this could save the average household thousands a year with only the cable companies feeling any pain.