Google is following up on some of its recent fiber network builds by filing requests for cable franchises in several Midwestern communities. While some analysts think this might suggest that Google is finding that the broadband-data only business model isn't economically viable, others point to the reports that Google had been considering purchasing some cable systems recently.
Certainly with Google's efforts at channel development on YouTube, the fact that Google already sells TV advertising for a number of cable systems and smaller cable networks, and the fact that adapting their fiber broadband network into a FiOS or IPTV style "cable" service, this move is a reasonable extension into related markets. And other analysts note that running their own "cable" system could provide Google with a real-world laboratory for Google to explore consumer behaviors and technology, and to test the effectiveness of various new and emerging ad formats and models. It will also put Google in head-to-head competition with some traditional cable MSOs - a battle of formats and business models that could prove very interesting to track.
Source - Google Moves Into Traditional TV, Files For Cable Franchise, MediaDailyNews