Google Fiber will set up shop in 24 US areas in an effort to test its wireless internet for home use. So if your house isn’t connected through direct fiber, you would still be able to experience wireless internet through Google Fiber. Eventually.
According to an FCC (Federal Communications Commission) filing, Google Fiber has moved from its initial research phase to a more advanced experimental stage (which is rumored to start very soon) as far its wireless services are concerned.
The technology behemoth that is Google is reportedly seeking permission from relevant authorities (the FCC) to test its high-speed broadband internet which will use wireless technology.
As mentioned before, Google Fiber intends to test its wireless internet in 24 US locations. These 24 locations include 12 cities and the period of Google Fiber’s test phase would be around 24 months.
Various media outlets have reported that Google Fiber’s primary objective is to equip several of its workers with the appropriate gear and send them out to these selected 24 locations to try out experimental transmitters over the frequency range between 3.4 MHz and 3.8 MHz.
Many of the chosen 24 US locations already have wired Fiber. Places such as San Francisco and the like, at present, do have wired Fiber operating in the majority of their areas.
But places such as Boulder, Colorado, Provo, Utah and Reston, Virginia do not have wired Fiber, let alone Google Fiber’s wireless service, as has been pointed out by a Recode report.
The FCC filing also revealed that Google chose the cities mentioned above because of reasons such as radio propagation environment, foliage and buildings in order to test interference, and other factors such as pre-existing Google infrastructure and existence of “potential partners” who may be able to participate and maybe even help out in the trials.
Potential partners could refer to Webpass, the internet service provider company that Google bought back in June of this year. Webpass, even at that point, had the experience to serve point-to-point wireless internet to the local population.
Webpass also provided fiber internet services to tens of thousands of customers in places such as the Bay Area, San Diego, Chicago, Boston, and Miami.
Google Fiber, itself an Alphabet subsidiary, made the acquisition because the company was confident that Webpass could help Google Fiber roll out its own high-speed wireless internet in much less time.
Webpass was a unique candidate for the acquisition because it had used high-speed wireless technology as well as Fiber to connect apartment buildings and business offices without many physical links.
Webpass also offered its customers speeds of up to 1Gbps. The company’s president, Charles Barr, wrote back then that Webpass “can accelerate the deployment of superfast Internet connections for customers across the U.S.,” and without a shadow of a doubt, Google Fiber will enable Webpass to offer its service to more customers.
The most interesting part about providing wireless Internet is that wireless internet in these locations makes the most sense.
Essentially, by delivering wireless broadband internet facilities over the air, Google Fiber can easily bypass many regulatory requirements which are mandatory for wired internet services.
For wired Fiber services, any service provider has to make sure that homes nearby have a direct connection to a telecommunications grid.
Providing fiber connection to any area also has its own set of challenges like labor hurdles and infrastructure, which could easily be sidestepped with wireless links instead of wired ones.
Google Fiber has already stepped into the wired super-fast internet market and in fact, has received praise for providing ultra fast internet through the use of, what industry experts term as, fiber pipes.
Apparently, that wasn’t enough for Google Fiber as the company’s latest project includes no pipes at all.
More specific information about Google Fiber’s testing phase is hard to come by since many items, in fact, over a hundred of them, have been edited (or redacted) in the FCC filing which is over 34 pages long.
Folks living in one of the test areas shouldn’t get too excited though. The FCC filing clearly indicates that the company does not want to involve the average home user for its test phase.
In other words, the only people who would get to use Google Fiber in the selected 24 US areas would be Google employees, contractors that work with Google and other “trusted testers”.
Even within this group of users, the testing will be carried out under close supervision.
Since the chances of you being a Google employee who lives in these selected test areas and has close supervision from Google itself are minimal, we’ll go ahead and suggest that until and unless Google Fiber testing phase goes public; you’ll need to show a lot of patience and composure.
So if you’re looking for a new apartment, it would be a great idea if you searched a bit more and got one in Reston. That way you might be able to test out Google Fiber wireless broadband internet if you happen to work for Google or one of its contractors.
While Google hasn’t announced any national ISP plans, other ISPs such as Comcast, Charter, AT&T, and Verizon will definitely feel the pressure to provide better internet service at an affordable price.
One also shouldn’t forget the fact that Google Fiber tested its wireless transmitters for high-speed internet over the air quite a while ago. The wireless testing was initially started in Kansas City.
It was in April 2016 that Google Fiber’s chief, Craig Barratt announced the company’s future plans for its wireless services which clearly pointed out Google Fiber’s strategy to eventually build a big enough network to cover the whole nation.
In other words, even though Google hasn’t officially announced that it plans on becoming a nationwide high speed (and low cost with faster rollout) internet service provider, all of its “testing phases” and “future strategy plans” indicate that it is hell-bent on becoming one.
The other side of the argument is that unless Google Fiber announces internet services nationwide, the company would not be able to give trouble to any of the other ISP giants.
Even if Google Fiber performs well in these selected 24 US areas, it won’t change much for 99.9 percent of other users who aren’t residing in these chosen locations.