Google is in talks with Indian IT ministry to bring its optical fibre-based broadband services as part of the ongoing Digital India programme. An official from the IT ministry said, “We are keen to partner a company like Google in furthering the Digital India plan. Modalities have to be worked out.”
Google Fiber is Google’s owned broadband service, provides 1000Mbps (1Gbps) download and upload speeds, which is more than 500 times faster than the average Internet connection speeds in India. Here is a video which shows the Google Fiber speed test done by a Google Fiber customer from Kansas city, where it was first introduced in 2012.
Google is also planning to expand the services to 34 more cities in the USA. Although, Google hasn’t shared its plans or development regarding Google Fiber in India but, a Google spokesperson only said that the company continuously engages with the center on various programs. An official from the ministry also stated that a team from Google’s US operation is arriving in India to evaluate the project.
India’s population makes a large potential customer base for Google, however the low Internet penetration – only 20% of the population has access to the Internet – is a big roadblock to tap into it. While Google through its various programs is trying to help India on the digital front,setting up the infrastructure to make Fiber successful in India would be a big challenge. But before that, educating the masses about the need and importance of having an Internet connection is another milestone.
On the front of a foreign player entering India with such an idea, policies and regulations would be another challenge. The allocation of licenses for Internet Service Providers (ISP) is done by the means of a spectrum auction, which is highly competitive. If Google has Government’s support in this project then it could mean an upper hand for the company over the existing ISPs.
Image Source: Google Fiber