300USD is pretty steep, but still it's 3USD/month for 7 years, which is what, 10 times better than the alternatives there?
What's the catch? Yes, especially for the "free" version!
But the single biggest catch I can see is simply waiting for it to be available in your locale.
- Connection speed is capped at "regular internet speeds" ("up to" 5mbs down/1Mbs up - but no indication of the lowest speed) on free version.
- $300 up front & non-refundable if you upgrade to the faster speed later on
- Lifetime guarantee = 7 year service commitment if Google decides to bail out
- Privacy. Everything you do online will be data mined by Google. Count on it.
- Bug Brother is watching you! As was alluded to earlier, don't even think of doing anything that may be illegal on Google's network. So bye-bye to "sharing" copyrighted media, ferquenting the warez torrents, hacker darknets, and many other things you may currently enjoy, depending on your personal tastes. And expect full behind the scenes "voluntary cooperation" with any government snooping requests regardless of any public hand wringing over it by Google.
It's only a one-time fee, and it's payable at $25 per month if you don't have it up front. After that it's "free." So considering most US subscribers pay between $25 and $40 per month for DSL or cable, it's a good deal.
Privacy: I agree, but I'm not sure if the others aren't doing the same.
I don't think anybody has the ability, or technology, to mine and correlate web data better than Google does. And they have a track record of pushing the envelope when it comes to interpretations of what constitutes "reasonable protection" of individual privacy. Maybe not as bad as Facebook. But not all that much better.
What do you mean with "bug brother"? You think they'd be more strict than regular ISPs? Why?
By 'Bug Brother' I mean "We're Watching You. Closely."
re: More strict: Yes I do. Especially if they're providing a free service to some (possibly many?) subscribers. Because every eye in the industry is going to be on them since they're pulling the rug out from under established businesses with their pricing model. The first mistake or serious problem and they'll be all over Google. If people did do illegal things on your network - and they aren't paying for the access - a good case could be made for "aiding and abetting" since you provided the means at no cost to the potential violator. It might even bring the whole "safe harbor" concept into question.
So yes...I think Google will ultimately become (or be forced to become) even more strict than what we're seeing from ISPs so far.
I'm starting to agree with wraith808: looks like it's a market push, and they'll bail out if it doesn't work out well for them. At least the consumer is the only one who comes out winning, this time
Agree. Wraith808 nailed it.
So in short, their copious mound of freshly mined data is far to succulent a target for the alphabet soup crowd to pass up. Yes?
Pretty much. Google is in the problematic position of having a business based almost completely on monitoring web activity, compiling that information, and then selling it back to interested parties. So protecting an individual's privacy is not an intrinsically desirable thing for Google - even though creating the impression
that there is privacy is good for their business.
Advertisers, political organizations, and others have been trying to figure out a way peek into people's lives, watch what they're doing, suss out what they're thinking, and predict their behaviors. With the advent of the web, the mechanism is finally in place to do that. It's just too big a temptation for Google to be completely on the up & up about it.