According to Google, this will be an experiment. The company hasn't decided on where to build this network yet, but you can nominate your own neighborhood here. The nomination process will end on March 26 and Google plans to announce where it will deploy this network by the end of the year.
According to today's announcement, Google plans to offer these connections at "competitive prices" and wants the networks to be open to competitors. Google current operates a free WiFi network in its hometown of Mountain View.
Finding Killer Apps
According to Google, this effort will help the company to experiment with "new ways to help make Internet access better and faster for everyone." Specifically, Google wants to see what the "killer apps" for these kind of connections are and test how to build better fiber networks.
U.S. is Lagging Behind - Will this Help?
The U.S. has been lagging behind with regards too broadband speeds and adoption. Just last year, the average broadband speed in the U.S. actually declined. With Chrome and the Chrome OS, Google has recently tackled a number of problems where it feels like the company is more interested in pushing technology forward than becoming a market leader. Nobody has really pushed broadband speeds in the U.S. forward and given that there are a lot of places where the incumbent cable providers don't even have competition, there has been relatively little incentive for these ISPs to provide higher speeds.