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Google Businesses The Internet Networking

Google to Create a Private Internet Alternative? 347

Posted by Zonk
from the they-will-also-create-a-starcrusher dept.
dbucowboy writes "Times Online UK reports that Google is working on a project to create its own global internet protocol network, a private alternative to the internet controlled by the search giant, according to sources who are in commercial negotiation with the company. Should Google successfully launch an alternative internet, it is theoretically possible for them to block out competitor websites and only allow users to access websites that have paid Google to be shown to their users." We discussed this topic during summer last year.
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Google to Create a Private Internet Alternative?

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  • left out (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ThisIsForReal (897233)
    Oh great, here's another way us geeks can be left out of the social circle, and in our own backyard.
    • Re:left out (Score:2, Interesting)

      by kpwoodr (306527)
      Isn't this how AOL started. You had access to the "internet" but most of what you saw was their own content. "Use AOL Keyword..." It seems to me that Google is rapidly switching gears from "Don't be evil" to practices more similar to one of the most evil [dansherman.com] companies on the planet.
  • by OYAHHH (322809) * on Friday February 03, 2006 @02:35PM (#14636413) Homepage
    Credible,

    Sources report Google is starting it's own religion that will effectively replace all of the other religions in the world. Thus saving the world from itself.

    And while they are at it reports are that each new coco-crisp cereal grain will contain a Google branded RFID device which will bring immediate live streaming video to the small intestines of those who eat it.

    Brought to you by Google Rumor Central
  • Riiiight... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jehnx (556498) on Friday February 03, 2006 @02:35PM (#14636420) Homepage
    "...it is theoretically possible for them to block out competitor websites and only allow users to access websites that have paid Google to be shown to their users." I don't see why this matters, or why it's worded how it is (seemingly to be scary or something). No one is going to force you to join this new protocol for their Internet, and if they develop it, what they do with it is their choice. I don't understand the seeming "concern" in the topic description.
    • Concur. No need for concern. I mean, it couldn't eliminate WWW, so even if there are webpages that do a ggl.search.com thing, it'd just be a different way to content, or a new, more expensive method of making exclusive content. Which could only be cool, as I see it. I mean, if I don't like it, I'll stop going to it.

      OT, but that "related stories" thing is pretty cool, but it would like nicer with a green bottom, IMHO.
    • Re:Riiiight... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cheapy (809643)
      Of course no one is going to force you to join this network.

      But...

      It's Google. Who would miss a chance to be part of Google? Google wouldn't have to force people; the people would come to Google in droves.
  • by StToast (222470) on Friday February 03, 2006 @02:36PM (#14636426)
    Every day is another "Google planning launch it's own...."

    They'll decline, and state that the new protocol is for internal use only, much like their OS
  • Does Google have a secret controlled gossip leakage department staffed with PhDs? ;)
  • Google plans to offer free universal wifi. Al Gore plans to help create the next internet, and bring internet TV to the masses with current TV. Apple plans to offer Itunes over the new internet, through Googles new internet based linux operating system. Now all we have to do is bring Sony into the fold and get some of the gaming companies involved. I look forward to the day where I can play games online through wifi from anywhere. Here are some URLs to back up my statements. Al Gore, Google, Current TV, [webpronews.com]
  • Intranet? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stevesliva (648202) on Friday February 03, 2006 @02:37PM (#14636439) Journal
    Sounds like a non-virtual private network, or perhaps an intranet.
  • they have the Internet on Google now?
  • Are they? Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AltGrendel (175092) <ag-slashdot@ex[ ].us ['it0' in gap]> on Friday February 03, 2006 @02:37PM (#14636445) Homepage
    Actually, I think that Google is simply trying to explore different possibilities for new business. This doesn't mean that they will come to pass, but at least they looked into the cost/benefit of the idea.

    And who knows? Maybe they will do it. But just because they can doesn't mean they will.

  • Fortunately.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZoneGray (168419) on Friday February 03, 2006 @02:37PM (#14636449) Homepage
    Fortunately, Google is run by people who are a little sharper than your average reporter.

    Sure, Google could set up their own network, and only allow paid access to it. That is, assuming they learned nothing from Compuserve and Prodigy's attempts to do the same.

    More likely, they want to build their own global back end.
    • Re:Fortunately.... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by birge (866103)
      Actually, it's run by people who are arrogant and megalomaniacal. Two unspectacular guys were in the right place at the right time and are vaulted to the top of the tech industry for an idea that is incredibly easy to copy, and they know it. Google has mindshare, but everybody knows how quickly that can change. (Is it starting to, already?) Now they have to race to justify their status. The very fact that they made such a big deal out of "do no evil" is the biggest warning sign that their ego is leading the
  • Ragnarok (Score:5, Funny)

    by SirWraith (796337) on Friday February 03, 2006 @02:38PM (#14636453)
    We've known about this for years. We even know the name before google does. It's gonna be Sky Net.
  • by dfn_deux (535506) * <datsun510.gmail@com> on Friday February 03, 2006 @02:39PM (#14636457) Homepage
    Google to create its own Internet? Unlikely. The whole reason that Google is an important company is that it crawls through the publicly-accessible parts of the Internet in order to index its contents. If Google is to retain its premier position in the search engine market, then it will very much so remain firmly connected to the existing Internet. This is why I agree with the parent post: It is quite reasonable to believe that Google might require this bandwidth for its own purposes. There is nothing at all wrong with this. The Internet, after all, is merely a network of networks. All this means is that behind Google's accessible IP addresses lurks a mammoth network of its own.
    • But as the level and size of content increases, it will require more bandwidth to deliver it to the user. Google will still crawl/trawl the internet for content, and cache it.

      The customer then has a choice:
      a) get your content directly from the entity that created it, over the old, slow Internet, or,
      b) get that same content over the blazing fast, all fibre Googlenet, with a few targetted ads before, during or after, or ad-free for a monthly subscription fee.

      Google then becomes a content delivery entity, sepa
  • google earth (Score:2, Informative)

    by gnujoshua (540710)
    We all know there real secret plan is to completely buy out AOL and then time warner, and then the movie industry, and then all government anyhow. And then once everyone has downloaded google earth, a virus will be leashed upon us. Imagine the Ring and Snow Crash combined with a beautiful Siren singing to draw you to the nearest monitor, cell phone, or television. And then they can have ultimate control and we will have a perfect utopia with no evil anywhere on earth.
  • I can't wait (Score:4, Insightful)

    by null etc. (524767) on Friday February 03, 2006 @02:39PM (#14636465)
    I, for one, can't wait. Google will tell the big telcos to go shaft themselves, will give us all 6MB internet pipes for free, simple for agreeing to use the Google Browser which contains targeted ads. Yes, I would much rather trust my Internet in the hands of Google, than Comcast who is just itching to find a way to increase my monthly cable modem fee 5x the rate of inflation, and ATT whose CEO just want everyone to pay him for everything, regardless of whether he actually deserves it.
    • Google will tell the big telcos to go shaft themselves, will give us all 6MB internet pipes for free, simple for agreeing to use the Google Browser which contains targeted ads.

      And how exactly do you expect them to do that? Google has money, but enough money to pull fiber to every household in America? Um, no.

      It's possible they could resell services via the CLEC route but that would be DSL and unless they want to add a crusty telco division and postulate on dry pairs and bridge taps, that's senseless.

    • I actually do trust google's management at this point, I think the problem comes when the management changes in 10 years or Google gets bought. No one company should have that much control over essential infrastructure. Just look at ATT's long tenure in charge of "The Network" and how many decades did they stifle competition and innovation just because they could? No, if Google gets that big (it is no where near that big now) then it should be broken up.

      In fact, maybe it is a better idea for Google to st
  • by SilentReproach (91511) * on Friday February 03, 2006 @02:41PM (#14636481)
    Google changes it's name to SkyLab.
  • by Twillerror (536681) on Friday February 03, 2006 @02:42PM (#14636483) Homepage Journal
    This actually sounds more like Google wanting their own private backbone then a new internet protocol.

    Google needs to transfer large amounts of data through out the world and is probably looking for ways to reduce latency across the world. We have a private DS3 line from our office to our co-lo, wouldn't google want the same kind of thing at a large scale, and without having to deal with Sprint, Verison, or AT&T.

    They could also use this for an VOIP solution as well, which to me is more likely. That way they can ship the voice calls on to the local phone switches throughout the country. I wouldn't be suprised to see Google offices going up all round the nation.

    Going last mile and creating another internet is a huge endeavour that I don't think even google could take on. Leave that up to the telcom who are already in bed with the govt agencies required to do something like that.

    • I think you make a good point, for 2 reasons:
      1) The major Telco's are trying to get a cut of Googles value chain. This step would proactively prevent that from happening.
      2) While google doesn't have a "last mile" distribution system like the phone, cable, or electricity providers, I wouldn't be surprised if they started their own wirless ISP service as an alternative to a physical connection.

      Just my 2 cents.
    • Going last mile and creating another internet is a huge endeavour that I don't think even google could take on.

      We already know Google has experience with providing WiFi for entire cities, so the last-mile issue is essentially solved by taking those mobile processing centers from a few months back and putting one in every zip code in the country. Combine that with all this fiber they're buying, and I imagine it's technically possible that they can create their own "Internet." It might not be as daunting
  • "Benjamin Cohen is a regular contributor to Times Online, writing about the internet and commerce. He is the CEO of pinknews.co.uk".

    PinkNews is a GBLT site. Not that I care about the sexuality of the author, but Cohen apparently serves as 1.) a CEO of a separate media company, and 2.) one that deals with alternative lifestyles (NTTAWWT*).

    My question is, does either of those two attributes make him more or less qualified to comment/report on potential Google plans, do you think?

    *(Not That There's Anything Wr
  • I hope this doesn't get too popular. I remember last year when I placed adsense on my site. After a while I got banned from adsense, and "due to security issues" I couldn't get an explanation. I can live with that - it wasn't important. But say all the "good stuff" was on GoogleNet, and you, for some reason or another, got booted off there. It would be like getting your internet connection cut, and not being able to re join. Scary thought, eh?
  • by TellarHK (159748) <[moc.liamtoh] [ta] [khrallet]> on Friday February 03, 2006 @02:45PM (#14636514) Homepage Journal
    I see lots of obvious things to be worried about, but at the same time, I see a few things that're actually not so bad. If Google were to go this route, the only question is how far they'd go. Could this network simply be a way for Google to slap down enough bandwidth for the "Google Cube" rumors, or would it be a wider-access thing intended for Total Domination? So far, Google hasn't gone evil despite the best efforts of many to try and call them out on it, and as long as there's a way to make any money and not be evil, I'm pretty sure Google would do it long before they'd consider anything else barring a stockholder revolt. (The only thing I can forsee being a true evil-catalyst)

    Now on the other hand, with the Telcos getting all bitchy about Google and others using "their pipelines", I've been wondering just how long it might take for someone to start up an "OtherNet" so to speak, restricted to non-commercial use like the old days were. It might be slow, but you -can- get an unlimited-long-distance line and slap modems together, and combine that with a meshed wireless, etc.

  • Not a common carrier (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RingDev (879105) on Friday February 03, 2006 @02:45PM (#14636522) Homepage Journal
    Google isn't a common carrier, so who cares? My old school district created it's own private network and ran fiber to each school back to the central office and IT hub. They controled traffic on their fiber and they could block what ever they wanted, because they were not a common carrier.

    -Rick
  • Hey! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrother AT optonline DOT net> on Friday February 03, 2006 @02:45PM (#14636524) Journal
    I seem to remember someone predicting this might happen in the future [cnn.com], or at least something like it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 03, 2006 @02:46PM (#14636530)
    Wouldnt it be easier to run storys about what google isnt doing?
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Friday February 03, 2006 @02:48PM (#14636544)
    However, industry insiders fear that the development of a network of Google Cubes powered over a Google-owned internet network will greatly increase the power that Google wields...

    You mean a network of Cubes like this? [stguardian.to]
  • Hey, I've heard of that before...isn't it called AOL?

    I love google though. The average googler is smarter [infoworld.com].

    -TLAY
  • So Al Gore serves as an unofficial advisor to Google's senior management and now they want to create their own Internet?

    Maybe the stories are true?


  • Google does not do evil. :)
    • Agreed.

      I, for one, trust an innovative company that has out-Jobsed Jobs in the insanely great department, and has "Don't be evil" as one of their operating principles far more than I trust, ohhhh... let's say...

      A mendacious, illegal-wiretapping, money-is-the-root-of-all-motives ruling party.

  • by SecretAsianMan (45389) on Friday February 03, 2006 @02:54PM (#14636595) Homepage
    Yes, they could create an internet where competition is stifled and Bad Things happen. Easily.

    Or they could create an internet where:
    • Standards compliance is required.
    • Secure protocols are not only the norm, but required.
    • P2P and multicast technologies are the norm.
    • The name system cannot be abused.
    • Spam is impossible or economically unfeasible.
    • Many current black hat attack methods are impossible.
    • The government cannot trace your data traffic.
    • The common language and its development model are suitable for delivering richly interactive applications (rather than a series of kludges bolted onto a hypertext document language).


    I, for one, welcome our potential Google overlords. They can't stifle competition too much, or there won't be businesses willing to populate Google's new internet. Commercial acceptance would be necessary for such a thing to even hope to supplant the Internet. The Internet won't live forever. I'd be more happy with Google engineering the replacement than with some of the other big players of our time.
  • Sad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by luckynoone (775973) on Friday February 03, 2006 @02:54PM (#14636596)
    It is sad how people get paranoid over Google. Just because they are huge, have tons of money, and great ambition doesn't mean that they are going to abuse their power.

    Argue all you want about Google in China or anything else. Simple matter of the fact is that if the paranoid stand in the way of a company's ambitions, they risk destroying a beautiful advance in technology and living. If they don't stand in the way and Google starts censoring the competition, people will switch back to Comcast or Time Warner and Google will lose a ton of money for the costs of starting up the service but not making enough revenue off of it.

    This reminds me of the paranoid trying to stop the government from putting Fluoride in the water supply. Can't they spend their time in a more productive way than fighting progress?

  • misunderstood (Score:2, Insightful)

    by moochfish (822730)
    I don't want to speculate too much on why google is doing this, but i hardly think it's for what the journalist thinks.

    the internet is awesome because it is open and free. if a company tried to cut out websites, people would use the unencumbered (i.e., the current) internet. nobody would switch to googleNet.

    if anything, google is creating a backup network to cut down costs, create redundancy, and increase speeds. and if they really are making a second internet, it probably won't differ much from I2, essenti
  • And tomorrow... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by danpsmith (922127)

    Google to make alternative planet Earth?

    Seriously people, the Internet is world wide, no matter how sophisticated you believe Google to be I highly doubt they are going to create their own Internet, their own OS, their own Itunes, their own government, their own worldwide banking system... Let's keep it in perspective, they are just a search company... Nothing is saying any of these moves could even work financially.

  • I thought AOL tried to create their own network - and were pretty successful for a while until the content on the Internet in general got bigger than what they could create themselves. then their attempts to monopolize people's internet connection started pissing people off, and they started leaving in droves (especially after their failure to provide a stable online connection!)

    So unless Google has something very different in mind...
  • AOL/Compuserve/Prodigy did this years ago...

    Move along, nothing to see here.
  • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:12PM (#14636756)
    But I have a good feeling about this one!!!
  • The wording of the whole article is very suspect.. while China might have been stealing a cookie from the 'evil' jar, trying to segregate the internet would be establishing giant co-owned 'evil' factory on a Seattle campus.

    Unlikely, at best.
  • "They have the internet on computers now?"
  • Somehow, I doubt Google would do this. Vint Cerf [wikipedia.org] is Google's "Chief Internet Evangelist". He is one of the "founding fathers of the internet" who were wise enough to create the Internet as an End-to-end network [slashdot.org]. I doubt he would change his mind now. says it better than I could: [wikipedia.org]

    In 1964, a Rand Researcher named Paul Baran proposed to the Defense Department a design for a telecommunication network that was very much like the design of the current Internet. It was not quite the architecture of the Internet, a

  • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Friday February 03, 2006 @04:01PM (#14637198) Homepage Journal
    Google is not turning itself into a new version of AOL or Compuserve. Google is, however, quietly building out its own network infrastructure. Right now anyone who wants to can do BGP peering with Google at any NAP it happens to have built out to. What does this buy them?

    Let's say that I'm a mid size ISP (I happen to work for one so this is a first hand account) and I peer with Google at a regional NAP. What happens then? Any traffic between my network and Google's network will cross that peering point. As a result, I don't have to pay one of my upstream ISP's for bandwidth to Google. Google, in turn, doesn't have to pay their upstream ISP's for bandwidth to my customers. Everyone wins (except for the upstream ISP's of course).

    Any large network operator is already doing this kind of thing on a large scale. Google is already doing this. The reason they bought all of that dark fiber is so they can do it without having to rent a bunch of OC-48's from the phone company in order to make it happen. There is no secret, so stop trying to figure it all out.
  • Or... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LordMyren (15499) on Friday February 03, 2006 @04:24PM (#14637389) Homepage
    Or instead of nephariously trying to create a tiered controller internet, they might be trying to have some muscle to back against the current internet-pipe-giants who keep spinning their mouths off about doing just such. That might fit with Google's recent press & hubub about telling the we-want-to-rape-your-netizen-rights companies to shove off, ya think?

    Perhaps google might use all this dark fiber its been buying (because its almost literally too cheap not to after all the crap we put in) to create indeed a private internet, but a private internet immune to the bullshit of the dumb-ass know-nothing dirt-eating baby-killing devil-worshipping feces-tossing telco's. If anyone, google as a company understands the value of the network as a dumb pipe. If anyone, Page&Brin have the wherewithal to go crusading for that. Its not a bad place in the history books. "I formed a massive fucking company" v. "I singlehandedly protected an entirely new form of of democratic adhocracy and free exchange from being anally raped by big buisness!"

    Look, I loved beating down on Google when Google Chat wasnt federating. Nice big technical slipup. But the google bashing has gone a little far. They got the bad press for BushCo's wiretapping, when they were one of the two to deny the information. They're getting this bad press for the China incident, but its the chinese. You cant tell them no, we're not going to censor information. They're a totalitarian state, I dont care how much fiber google owns, they shoot people for that over there.

    Give em a chance, Google is still immensely young. Think before you criticize.

    Myren
  • by Gumber (17306) on Friday February 03, 2006 @04:29PM (#14637435) Homepage
    I bet that some of the facts are accurate, but the interpretation is informed more by the writer's deisre to create a "good story" that fits a well established pattern, rather than any informed analysis.

    Google may well be building a global network. They may well be planning on opening it to consumers and they are no doubt doing it to serve their business interests. That doesn't mean they have to lock out their "competitors" for such an investment to be worthwhile.

    A huge reason for them to make that kind of investment is so they have a lever against network providers (like AT&T) who think they deserve some of Google's revenue. They don't even necessarily have to do a complete build out, they just need the ability to reach a significant number of AT&Ts subscribers and be able to make a creditable threat they can extend their reach in the future and old Ed Whitacre is likely to change his tune. Google's ace in the hole is that they can subsidize access with ad revenues, which has got to scare the shit out of a telco guy even more than the idea of free long distance.

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