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Google Fiber Brought to You by Higher Taxes?

Experts discuss the costs of paying for large-scale broadband projects and how governments should best approach service providers.

Nothing is free, the adage goes, and taxpayers in the sister cities of Missouri and Kansas possibly will face tax subsidies entering the millions of dollars to pay for Google's free access to power, rights of way and office space, ComputerWorld reported.

The Google Fiber broadband project, which is underway in Kansas City and surrounding neighborhoods, will offer 5 Mbps Internet service for free and 1 Gbps service at $70/month. While most cities require Internet service providers to pay a 3 to 5 percent share of subscription revenues to the city, Google is not required to pay such a fee.

"It looks like Google got a real sweetheart deal. Other providers should be pretty unhappy," said Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, told ComputerWorld.

Many have suggested that such government subsidies are indispenable for the creation of such privately-run networks. "We should acknowledge the possibility that it simply doesn't make economic sense for private firms to build new fiber networks without taxpayer subsidies," commentor Timothy Lee wrote on the Ars Technica tech news website.

To read the full, in-depth story, visit ComputerWorld online.