Google’s Net Neutrality Flap: Think HD

Om’s been following this whole is-Google-being-evil-over-net-neutrality-or-not fiasco, but we wanted to take his analysis and go one further. Don’t just think YouTube; think premium full-length content from YouTube in HD and Google’s (s goog) moves make two tons of sense.

In a nutshell, Google’s OpenEdge initiative will put the company’s caching servers within a broadband provider’s facilities. By shacking up, users of those broadband providers will get faster access to Google and YouTube. Om writes:

By getting carriers to connect directly to via OpenEdge, consumers are able to better experience Google’s products, such as YouTube, because videos have to traverse fewer networks.

You may not think people need faster access to cat videos and Fred, but consider two things. First, YouTube has gotten itself on a bunch of Net-connected set-top boxes that plug directly into your TV: Apple TV (s aapl), TiVo (s tivo), Verismo, Panasonic televisions, etc. But who wants to watch cruddy-looking video on their 52-inch plasmas? No one.

So with the oldteevee delivery mechanisms in place, YouTube has also been snatching up all kinds of full-length premium content from MGM, Lionsgate, CBS (s cbs) and others. Not only that, but it went widescreen and switched on HD streams to make all those shows more watchable. And as we saw first-hand last week, YouTube in HD looks frickin’ sweet on a big TV (video demo embedded below).

But if you’re going to switch on YouTube to watch premium content, it better look good, it better arrive quickly, and it better be reliable. Google’s edge-caching moves help solidify that.