Race: 45 Days to Jump On Google's Disruption of the Internet
Danny is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
Quick as a rabbit? You might already know that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) put out a website for Google Fiber, a service that has fellow nerds fantasizing about a relocation to Kansas City, Kansas. With their plans showing prices of $120, $70, and an eyebrow-raising $0 per month, Fiber may already feel like a competitor against grasps of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) in other cities.
Jumping to conclusions against those powerhouses may feel premature. After all, the players around internet providers are reminiscent of -- or the same as! -- those in the mobile space. Though Google and Apple were giants that found success there, it was a long and slow trip with their Android and iOS devices initially being snared into locked-in plans. The pace was always at the mercy of those providers, with Verizon, AT&T (NYSE: T), Sprint (NYSE: S), and T-Mobile never missing a step to tie their own success to the new devices.
Really, only time will tell if Google will emerge as a similar player: right now, you have 45 days to express interest through pre-registration. Will you and your neighbors show enough promise for Fiber's growth into your city?
Internet service providers race in a very orderly fashion: geographical regions. Time Warner keeps a steady cadence in the lane of Los Angeles even though I would have happily considered Verizon's FiOS. Alas, location is a very definite barrier: as a resident, I only learn of my provider when I set up my internet.
Perhaps regional monopolies are why Google couldn't try my city first. Since it's unclear how Google offers the service, bets are off on whether it will hinder them later. However, Google has an edge providers don't.
Google's got devices.
The Leg Up
For every time your provider annoyingly asks you to upgrade into a faster speed that includes TV and phone, Google has TV integrated directly into their highest tier plan. That seemingly innocent statement may provide a rather empty photo finish when you consider Google TV is going to be running on your Samsung (KRX:005930), Sony, Vizio (Private), and LG (KRX:066570) devices.
Get Ready... Get Set...
Ah, what sport -- and it hasn't even begun! We don't know how far Google as an ISP will reach. Will they offer direct substitutions for satellite dish channels and services, leaving DirectTV and DISH in the dust? Will Android's open development environment allow a more collaborative and competitive space? Imagine the Netflix app success becoming reachable for HBO, AMC, Playboy, or Showtime.
With possible outcomes like that, this spectator sport looks to make most winners out of customers.
dfavela has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.