Cisco has reportedly become the third company this month to begin work on an ultra-high-speed testbed fiber network.
The company is planning the network in conjunction with several US operators, sources close to the company told FT
The network will reportedly help Cisco's operator partners determine whether there is demand for ultra-high-speed services, or whether 5-10Mbps data speeds are sufficient.
and Shaw Communications each announced plans to build 1Gbps test networks earlier this month.
When Google announced its plan, it came under fire from broadband operators concerned that the search giant was muscling in on their turf. This forced Google to deny it had any interest in becoming a broadband network operator.
Cisco's reported strategy of working directly with operators will likely help it avoid such controversy if, and when, the plans are officially announced.
The FCC, meanwhile, is hoping to stimulate
adoption of high-speed services. The regulatory body hopes to bring 100Mbps connections to 100 million homes, and to enable 90% of the population to have broadband access of some kind by 2020.
This will put pressure on operators such as AT&T and Comcast to invest more in high-speed networks, and these operators are already Cisco customers, the Times said.
Cisco has so far declined to comment publicly on its plans.