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Top Questions for Google's New Broadband Network

Google announced it plans to enter the competitive broadband market and will build out what it calls an "ultra-fast" fiber broadband network that would be available to 50,000 Americans, 500,000 at most.

Given that the purpose of my new watchdog site is making Google more transparent and accountable -- I offer some pertinent questions people may want to ask Google about its new high-profile broadband plans.

  1. Does Google now believe that broadband facilities-based competition works, given that Google is freely able to enter the broadband market as a facilities-based provider itself?
  2. Will Google submit to the FCC's regulatory jurisdiction?
  3. Will Google no longer seek to exempt itself from all the FCC's proposed Open Internet regulations?
  4. Will Google allow competing search engines on its broadband network and agree to not monitor searches conducted through competitors?
  5. Would Google's opaque search algorithms, ad auctions, and quality scores be subject to the FCC's proposed Open Internet transparency regulations?    
  6. Is Google committed to following through with this, or is this another PR stunt like Google's failed public plans to create a WiFi broadband network for all of San Francisco?
  7. Will Google give priority in its build out to the ~5% of American communities who have no broadband access at all?
  8. Will Google give priority in its build-out to what NTIA considers under-served communities?
  9. Will Google publicly pledge to not "redline" neighborhoods but serve all people in a community?
  10. With over 150 million Americans who use Google's services, and with over $10b in annual free cash flow, and ~$20b in cash on hand, why is Google only committing to make its ultra-fast broadband available to only 1 in 6,000 Americans and no more than 1 in 600 at most? Why is Google thinking so small when it believes the problem is so large?
  11. Does Google plan to provide human customer service for its broadband services or only its current web-automated Q&A service?
  12. Will Google have the highest early termination fees in the industry like it did with Nexus One?
  13. Will Google agree to serve all customers or will it maintain that it can block calls as it chooses from high cost users like it currently does with Google Voice?
  14. Will Google contribute to Universal Service?
  15. Will Google abide by the FCC's privacy regulations (sections 222 & 551 and the ECPA) and not collect and personally identifiable information without permission?
  16. Will Google's broadband network make copies of all users' internet traffic via deep packet inspection like Google Chrome currently keeps record of all users' searches and clickstreams?
  17. Will Google broadband customers be given the choice up-front to opt-out from having Google take and use their private information without permission?
  18. Will Google offer a "Do Not Track" List option for customers that don't want Google doing the Google Chrome equivalent of deep packet inspection like NebuAd?
  19. Will Google abide by the FCC's equal opportunity (EEOC) regulations that apply to other broadband carriers?
  20. Will Google replace the Domain Name System for its broadband network like it is proposing for the rest of the Internet?
  21. Does Google expect the American taxpayer to subsidize their purported broadband network deployment like the American taxpayer had to subsidize Google's open access proposals in the FCC's 700 MHz spectrum auction -- to the tune of $7b
  22. Will Google decide to build in the community that offers the most tax breaks and public subsidies?   
  23.  Will Google ask the NSA for help in making its broadband network secure from cyberattacks?