What is Google up to?

What in the world is Google up to? Sitting on a huge pile of cash, with more coming in every month from the successful Google AdWords service, one has to wonder if the company would be content.

This article from the Times in the UK suggests Google has something big up it's sleeve, with a possible foray into a worldwide Voice over IP phone service.

The article speculates that Google may be buying up some of the substantial over-capacity in dark fiber that has been laying around unused since the dot-com crash, on the theory that the firm may be planning a high performance, global phone network that offers free phone service.

Since there is no free lunch, the only mystery is how it would get paid for. The phone service could be tied to some kind of advertising model, where the softphone that runs on your computer might display ads.

It will be interesting to see how this turns out. If I were one of the Bell phone companies, I'd be worried...very worried.

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