Google could fare well as ISP, report finds

A top Web networking firm this week predicted Google could become the world's third-largest Internet service provider -- that is, if it ever enters the business.

By Arbor Networks' latest estimate, which examined traffic passed between studied networks, Google would almost capture an average, weighted 6 percent of all Internet traffic if it became a full-fledged ISP.

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Ultimately, the numbers are far from guaranteed, points out Wired magazine, which first obtained a copy of the report. Arbor Networks' conclusions depend heavily on Google's current traffic numbers, which are inflated in part because of the company's ownership of YouTube, according to experts.

But the independent analysis perhaps still lends credence to the argument that Google could expand its business ventures to include Internet service -- and quickly become a major domestic or international player.

That's especially pertinent, given that Google soon plans to launch a highly anticipated, ultra-fast Internet testbed project in select U.S. cities.

"Network providers are making real progress to expand and improve high-speed Internet access, but there's still more to be done," Google executives wrote last month on their blog, announcing the new broadband project.

"We don't think we have all the answers – but through our trial, we hope to make a meaningful contribution to the shared goal of delivering faster and better Internet for everyone," the post continued.

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