Google is Vertically Integrating the Internet Ecosystem

Google now has announced launches of Google Fiber in Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Raleigh-Durham, N.C. and Nashville, Tenn. Those launches come as Google also is said to be preparing to enter the U.S. mobile service provider business and has invested $1 billion in SpaceX, Elon Musk’s satellite firm.

SpaceX, in turn, has announced plans to build a new constellation of low earth orbit satellites to provide Internet access to people in Asia, Africa and elsewhere.

Separately, Virgin Group and Qualcomm also are investors in the WorldVu “OneWeb Ltd.” service, which hopes to launch a constellation of 648 satellites to provide Internet access to users in Asia, Africa and elsewhere.

Investor Richard Branson thinks the total number of satellites launched could eventually be higher than 648. Branson also says voice service will be part of the core service.

Those efforts of course follow on Google’s Project Loon effort to test use of balloons to provide Internet access, as well as earlier Google investments in Clearwire, municipal Wi-Fi, as well as pledges to invest in spectrum in past mobile spectrum auctions.

Then there are the Android mobile operating system initiatives, Nexus tablets and phones.

So the shocking new development is that it might be Google that is slowly assembling the sort of vertically-integrated service that telcos once provided. Shocking, isn’t it?
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