said by jap: said by JPL:
... customers [...] won't make the switch to Google Fiber just because it's the latest cool thing. How do they survive [...] without giving consumers what they want in order to switch? They can't.
Look, there are no shortage of TV ventures that died because of lack of content. I already mentioned Sezmi.
You misunderstand why this network exists. It's a real-world data distribution and behavioral test bed. If Google doesn't get the user base they want they'll sweeten the packages and/or lower the price. What they do with the network longterm nobody knows.
Google's core is human behavior for advert value, data centers, and distributed computing on a massive scale. It makes sense they want this for no other reason than research and testing. Your perspective appears to be completely consumer product as delivered to users on this network which is to miss the point of the project.
You think Google isn't driven by consumer demand? Really? It cost Verizon some $23Billion to lay out FiOS. Google, like Verizon, is a publicly traded company. At some point their share holders are going to demand return on their investment. People don't buy stock to drive social experiments. They buy stock to make money.
As for lowering the price... don't you think if they could they already would? There is a break-even point. Heck, they could get the entire country to switch if they just gave their product away. Sure they wouldn't make any money, but they would get customers! Here's the thing - if you lose money on every customer, then every customer is no longer an asset to your company. They're a drain. In order to make any venture like this viable, they need customers. And they need customers at a price point where they're going to actually have positive cash flow. Sure there's an up-front period of time where companies expect to run in the red (making up investment costs for equipement... just starting out so they need to build up a customer base), but if Google doesn't bring in customers such that they develop a positive cash flow, this will turn into one of the biggest flops in American business history. And if they're not in this to actually make money... then they're in the wrong business.