Google to build high-speed Internet network

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google Inc plans to build a super-fast Internet network for up to half a million people, a project that could pressure telecommunications companies to loosen their control of Web access in the United States.

The Internet company has locked horns with the likes of AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc over the issue of net neutrality: Google wants telephone companies to permit consumers to run any Web application they want, while carriers do not want to lose control of networks they have invested billions of dollars to build.

In building the test network, Google wants to demonstrate a carrier could easily manage complex applications that use a lot of bandwidth without sacrificing performance.

Google said on Wednesday it does not plan to build a nationwide network and its goal is only to develop a trial service at a “competitive price” to 50,000 to 500,000 people, offering Web speeds of up to 100 times faster than most consumers get today.

Iran to shut down Google email service

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Iranian government plans to permanently suspend Google Inc’s email service in the country, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website on Wednesday.

Google said it experienced a sharp drop in email traffic in Iran, and that some users in the country were having trouble accessing Gmail, but said its networks were working properly.

The report comes as Iran braces for new opposition protests on Thursday during rallies marking the 1979 Islamic revolution. Protesters made use of modern networking tools such as Twitter and Gmail instant messaging last June after a disputed election plunged Iran into crisis.

Google is already at loggerheads with China’s government after it threatened to withdraw from the country last month over claims of online attacks and issues over censorship.

Iran’s telecommunications agency announced the suspension and said a national email service for Iranian citizens would soon be rolled out, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Sweden beats U.S. to top tech usage ranking

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sweden took the number one spot from the United States to top the annual rankings on the usage of telecommunications technologies such as networks, cellphones and computers, a report released on Thursday shows.

The Connectivity Scorecard, created by London Business School professor Leonard Waverman in 2008, measured 50 countries on dozens of indicators, including technological skills and usage of communications technology.

“Sweden not only has the best current mix of attributes, but it also shows few signs of losing its lead,” said Waverman.

“By contrast, there is the beginning of a gap in what was once the essence of U.S. leadership in most industrial and service sectors - education and skills.”

Sweden was second in the last survey behind the United States. Norway placed third, up from fifth spot last year.

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