Google to build ultra-fast broadband networks

WASHINGTON – Google plans to build experimental, ultra-fast Internet networks in a handful of communities around the country.

The search company said Wednesday that its fiber-optic broadband networks will deliver speeds of 1 gigabit per second to as many as 500,000 Americans. Google Inc. says those systems will be more than 100 times faster than the networks that most Americans have access to today.

In a blog post, the company said the networks will let consumers download a high-definition, full-length feature film in less than five minutes and allow rural health clinics to send 3-D medical images over the Web.

Google says it will seek input from communities that might be interested in getting one of the testbed networks.