Google. 'dark fiber', and killer web applications
This item grabbed my attention Google wants 'dark fiber', though I suspect the speculation by the writer is dead wrong.
Google is building a mega-computer to run web applications. Web search was their first application. GMail is an outstanding take at a web-based email. If you take a peek into Google Labs, you can see a whole collection of very impressive works in progress.
To make the web applications perform optimally, you need to limit the number of hops to the desktop. The more hops the greater the latency (slowness) in the network. The more hops the greater the risk of failure or poor performance at some level. If you are building world-beating web applications, one next logical step is to buy or build your own fast and fat backbone. The alternative is to use the existing backbone providers -- and there is no question that their priorities are going to focused differly than your needs as a web application company. In particular the backbones are more interested in economy (of their operations) than end-to-end latency.
The glut of dark fiber on the market offers a unique possible opportunity. Google may be able to buy the backbone fiber that they need at a fraction of the cost otherwise required to build from scratch. You can expect Google to focus ruthlessly on latency. Eliminating latency is a key ingredient in building killer web applications.
Do not know if Google will succeed in acquiring the fiber needed - but given all the 'dark fiber' out there this is certainly a worth a try!
My respect for the folks at Google just went up another notch :).