Dave Burstein here, not totally sure himself
My belief, until recently, was the same as yours
"every indication has been that Google is primarily interested in lighting a fire under other carriers,"
and I should have been more clear in the original article I'm working from inference, not direct knowledge.
That said, I think there were many details that only made sense if they intend to move forward.
Hope I'm not fooling myself and something important is happening. We have plenty of proof the technology is ready for a gig, and I'm personally (slightly) involved in two projects delivering a gig for $80 or less.
The economics at $70 should work well if the sign-up rate is high enough.