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Is Google Becoming an Ad-Driven Telco?

"There�s renewed speculation that Google is planning to enter the telco arena as more revelations come to light about the company�s (very) low-profile U.S. fibre purchases together with news of an interesting alliance with a Wi-Fi enterprise that owns a customer location search technology. The September edition of the magazine Business 2.0 says that Google is quietly assembling a collection of alliances and assets that could enable it to offer Wi-Fi services funded by location-based advertising. And it also reveals that Google may be already test-driving the business model in San Francisco. The magazine confirms previous rumours that Google has been buying up cheap fibre across the U.S. from providers such as AboveNet, Cogent and WilTel. The immediate rationale for this is obvious: Google gets to keep more of its burgeoning traffic on-net and avoid high IP transit fees to connect to the access networks used by its customers. In doing so, Google effectively becomes an ISP itself, using peering arrangements to further cut its costs. However, what would happen if Google was to go just one step further and connect directly into the access network? Well, this may already be happening, says Business 2.0"

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