Google’s in talks to offer its OnHub series of routers to broadband ISPs around the world. The company has unveiled two different routers in the OnHub lineup, one made by TP-Link, and one made by Asus. The routers are Google’s attempt to not only bring a little style to the traditional router, but to make setting up and maintenance much simpler for those uncomfortable with the sometimes antiquated and confusing menus of traditional routers.
Despite being knocked for a lack of overall ports, response to the routers has generally been positive because of their ease of use.
Since launch Google has apparently been in talks with various ISPs about offering the OnHub devices directly to consumers, though failed to note if any of the conversations have been productive. A simpler, easier router could benefit ISPs that have historically low customer satisfaction ratings.
“We think there’s a great fit for the product for the carrier operators,” Google Product Manager Trond Wuellner says of the talks. “We’ve had really productive conversations… with a number of carriers around the world.”
The problem? Given its past support for net neutrality, its expansion of Google Fiber as a competitor, and a touch of envy of the company’s ad revenues — Google’s still public enemy number one in the mind of many US ISPs, who’ll likely be unwilling to give Google any more ground. Still, Google could find success in negotiations with smaller US ISPs — or some international ISPs — that don’t have quite the same level of animosity toward the search giant.