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Consumer Confidential: Google broadband, bad plastic, Toyota blues

February 10, 2010 | 10:06 am

Here's your wistfully Wednesday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

-- Google doesn't think the Internet moves fast enough. So the company is building a new-and-improved network. It says it will put up a series of high-speed networks around the country that will offer connectivity speeds up to 100 times faster than typical broadband connections. "We are doing this because we want to experiment with new ways to make the Web better and faster for everyone, allowing applications that would be impossible today," said Google product manager James Kelly. Sign me up.

-- Banks are keeping busy messing with people's credit card accounts. A survey by Credit.com finds that 43% of consumers say card issuers have recently made at least one negative change to their account. Such changes include higher rates, new fees and lower credit limits. Banks have been scrambling to gain the upper hand as new rules take effect for plastic. Hopefully the tough love will come to an end soon.

-- Toyota's woes are registering with consumers. A new survey from Kelley Blue Book finds that 27% of potential car buyers who'd been considering a Toyota are no longer interested. Moreover, 49% of people who have defected from the ranks of Toyota boosters say they're not sure they'd buy from the carmaker again. Time heals all wounds, of course. But Toyota clearly has its work cut out for it.

-- David Lazarus

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