SANTA ROSA -- Santa Rosa-based Internet and data service provider Sonic.net today announced it has been selected to operate and support the trial fiber-to-the-home network Google is building at Stanford University.

This experimental project will test new fiber construction and operation methods, while delivering full gigabit speeds to approximately 850 faculty and staff owned homes on campus.

Sonic.net will manage operation of the network, provide customer service and support and perform on-site installation and repair.

The Stanford trial network is completely separate from the community selection process for Google's Fiber for Communities project, which is still ongoing. Google’s ultimate goal is to build a fiber-to-the-home network that reaches at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people, and it plans to announce its selected community or communities by the end of the year.

Sonic.net currently operates California's largest open Internet access network, offering services today primarily via next-generation copper.

The Santa Rosa-based company previously announced its own plans to deliver a fiber-to-the-home network in Sebastopol. Sonic.net’s open network provides services to 70 other Internet service providers delivering broadband services across a thirteen state territory.

Construction of the Stanford fiber network will begin in early 2011.

"Sonic.net is an innovative ISP that brings top notch experience to the Google Fiber for Communities project," said James Kelly, Google Fiber for Communities product manager. "Their open access experience and well regarded customer service team will play a key role as we kick off our beta network at Stanford."

"We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with Google on this project," said Dane Jasper, Sonic.net chief executive officer and co-founder. "It's a great fit for our existing capabilities, and will help us develop new skills as we move our own network toward fiber."