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Google explores possible Internet service in United Kingdom

updated 12:54 pm EDT, Fri July 18, 2014

Initial Google Fiber discussions end over possible BSkyB issues

Google may be considering expanding its Google Fiber Internet service outside the United States, according to a report. The search company was reportedly speaking to CityFibre in the United Kingdom about a possible launch in the country, though negotiations apparently broke down over a possible conflict of interest between CityFibre and BSkyB.

CityFibre had an existing working relationship with BskyB, reports the Telegraph, with the satellite broadcaster apparently joining with ISP Talk Talk to fund a pilot fiber-optic network scheme. CityFibre apparently worried that BSkyB would back out of the project, one which would provide fiber Internet access to 20,000 homes and businesses located in York, as it could consider Google a future pay-TV competitor.

Google is apparently still looking to build some form of Internet service in the country, according to report sources. "Google historically has always publicly said they would never build fiber outside the US," claims the source, continuing "But in the background they are talking to people here in the UK and looking at projects. It makes sense; Britain is their biggest market outside the US."

Interest by Google to create its own fiber service could help apply pressure to current infrastructure incumbent British Telecom, with its Openreach wholesale arm managing the majority of physical connections in the country, to speed up its connections. The company has already made some progress to roll out fiber services in some cities, and in some cases, such as Wales, it has accepted funding to provide high-speed connections in sparsely-occupied areas, though progress is slow.

Back in the United States, Google advised in its earnings conference call that it will continue to deploy fiber to its existing markets, without expanding elsewhere. BGR reports the executives hoped for more demand for Google Fiber to be generated nationally before becoming more aggressive in its expansion.

By Electronista Staff
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