Google Inc., Mountain View, Calif., the Internet search engine company, is planning to build and test ultra-high-speed broadband networks in a small number of locations across the United States. The company promises to deliver Internet speeds of 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections, which is more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to now.

Google said the purpose of this project is to experiment and learn. It hopes to make a meaningful contribution to the shared goal of delivering faster and better Internet for everyone.

More specifically, Google is interested in seeing what other Internet developers will do with faster Internet speeds. It plans to test new ways to deploy fiber networks, and it has a promise of transparency, meaning it will share its findings in this project.

Of course, Google cannot offer the service for free, but it does intend to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people during this project.

As a first step, the company issued a request for information to help identify interested communities. It specifically is looking for responses from local governments and members of the public.

There are no plans for Google to begin its own permanent Internet service. Currently, this project is explicitly for learning and development purposes, and to bring prosperity to the broadband industry. Learn more at www.google.com/appserve/fiberrfi.