Google Fiber announced on Tuesday that it will be delivering its high-speed Internet service to four more American cities - Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, and Raleigh-Durham, NC. This is fantastic news considering Google Fiber has already entered several American cities and is currently in discussion with several more. (See here and here.)
Google Fiber has helped enforce very strong intermodal competition within America’s dynamic broadband market. Google’s emergence spurs investment from other ISPs in regional areas (whether wireline or wireless) in order to prevent Google from controlling an entire market.
By competing with other ISPs on prices, investment, and innovation, Google’s entry into the broadband market is very beneficial for consumers, provided that state and local governments are not giving any special favors to Google that are not also available for all other ISPs. Government favors and handouts, even if in a benevolent attempt to connect residents to the Internet, ultimately harm consumers because they often restrict competition to only the ISPs that have been favored. It is most beneficial to consumers if governments “level the playing field” by deregulating down, allowing for competitive markets, lower prices, and higher quality service.