Nationwide Google Wi-Fi
I think that if Google is really ready to deploy a nationwide network using wireless technology, then they had better have that Google OS ready. It is clear that Google has something up their sleeves as far as acquiring all that dark fiber and working so closely with the Wi-Fi company Feeva. That is probably tied initially to the Google ISP rather than there being a Google network. Their gimmick might be to give up free Wi-Fi in cities across the country, but for them to achieve their loftier goals, they will need to be the one-stop-shop for internet access and content.
One of the major differences between Google and Yahoo is that Yahoo has a partner in SBC Communications who provides internet access and makes Yahoo it's default portal. I was a subscriber to SBC Yahoo! a while ago, and the content was pretty darn good. Now with Yahoo's media connections, they are poised to take the video search crown from Google as far as on demand indexed video is concerned. Still, if Google is able to start its own internet service, they can do it for ridiculously cheap prices based on showing relevant, unobtrusive advertising. Advertisers will pay through the nose for the space, and consumers will benefit with extremely high speeds for prices like $19.99 / mo. So why am I not happy with this idea?
One of the things that makes SBC Yahoo! ok is that they are still two separate companies with different agendas, and different privacy policies. Yahoo, like Google collects information that isn't completely transparent to its users. SBC has no real interest in collecting any more data than uptime, connection speed, and Mbps across it's network. Google on the other hand would be interested in potentially collecting a whole host of data to which it currently has limited access. While they may never do such a thing, power is tempting, and who knows what pressures are put upon a public company by it's shareholders. Given the CNET article, we all know how much data is available publicly on Google. I have never been completely comfortable with the company that provides your internet access being the company that is your ISP / portal. The reason is that with the above configuration, you have no real choice as to what provider you wish to use. You're stuck with SBC, Verizon, Comcast, or any, very small, number of other internet service providers who have a vested interest in monopolizing your content. One of the issues with Comcast is that it is expensive and they have the capability and, some say, do filter content. They can slow down particular sites, they can in fact, do whatever they want. If you don't like it, you have to go through the arduous process of switching providers, if anyone else is available in your area, which they are almost never.
If Google wants to launch GoogleNet, do it for internal reasons, or to deliver material faster to parts of the country that are further away from the primary data centers. Or, do it because it saves the company money and make the shareholders happier, but please don't try to be an ISP. Partner with someone else. I know Google has the money to take over the world, but do they have to?