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Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is entering yet another business, saying it will build “ultra” high-speed broadband networks in locations across the United States. The plan is relatively small in scope: Google says it will offer service to between 50,000 and 500,000 people (By comparison, cable operators currently offer high speed service to about 52 million homes, according to MultiChannel). But Google says it will offer internet speeds of 1 gigabit per second — 100 times faster than what it says most Americans are used to — and that could lead other providers to up their speeds too.
That’s likely what Google wants since in its announcement it says that while “network providers are making real progress to expand and improve high-speed internet access … there’s still more to be done.” So, Google says it will test new ways to build fiber networks — and share what it learns. Faster internet connections, of course, ultimately mean more people will use the company’s products.