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'Father of Internet' returns to roots with new Google job

Cerf's role at Google is unclear. But Google executives said they expect "great things" from the Internet pioneer.

Cerf stressed that he doesn't have "deep knowledge of what Google is up to."

But he rattled off a list of personal technological interests -- including being able to index information based on geography and building sophisticated applications related to voice communications on the Internet.

Mr. Cerf said: "Google has already made tremendous strides in making access to information a reality for users across the globe, but we're still in the internet's early innings.

"This medium will enjoy wider-spread use than television, radio or phones, and will ultimately expand beyond planet Earth.''

The pairing of Cerf and Google will likely fuel speculation that the company is planning to build its own worldwide broadband network, possibly as the backbone for a free WiFi service. Others are convinced Google is building a network capable of carrying vast amounts of video programming.

"They're thinking 10 years from now, you don't turn to channel 4 or whatever on your TV, you log on to Google and find whatever you want," said Dave Burstein, editor of the DSL Prime newsletter.

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