Google Begins Testing Tech That Could Become Fiberless Fiber Service

Image courtesy of Great Beyond

People like fast internet. Google sells fast internet. People like Google’s fast internet. So far, so good. But Google doesn’t really like building Google’s fast internet, because it costs a lot of money, takes a lot of time, and is logistically complicated to build and maintain. One answer to that problem? Taking the wires out of the equation.

As Business Insider spotted, Google’s very much focused on going wireless if it can. And not in the sense of challenging AT&T or Verizon in the cell phone space (at least, not right now), but in the sense of making your home WiFi, well, truly wireless.

The heavily-redacted, public version of a recent filing Google made with the FCC (PDF) seeks permission to test certainly wireless technologies in the 3.5 GHz wireless band, a stretch of the spectrum the FCC has set aside to be the “innovation band” for new and developing tech.

A spokesperson for the company told Buisiness Insider that the company is testing the viability of a wireless network in that stretch of the EM band, and said, “The project is in early stages today, but we hope this technology can one day help deliver more abundant Internet access to consumers.”

Specifically, Google will be testing [redacted] while operating [redacted] and investigating [redacted] and [redacted], which is less than useful information for us lay-people. They will, however, be doing the tests in Atlanta, Austin, and Provo — all current Google Fiber cities. Google also plans to deploy some kind of other kind of test technology in Atwater, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Bruno, San Francisco, and San Jose, CA; Boulder, CO; Kansas City, KS; Omaha, NE; Raleigh, NC; and Reston, VA.

Without specifically saying what they’re up to (publicly), Google writes in their filing that “Users of the spectrum might, for instance, deploy “small cell” networks that can carry heavy loads of data in high-traffic areas — such as crowded stadiums — or offer fixed wireless broadband services in rural areas,” and “requests authorization to transmit in a variety of locations and environments that meet several characteristics, including the radio propagation environment, height and variety of clutter (buildings and foliage), existence of suitable Google infrastructure and resources to support experimentation, and existence of partners who may participate in the tests.”

If Google’s attempt to reduce the amount of fiber present in Google Fiber sounds familiar, it’s because this is the exact same issue happening in San Jose right now. The planned fiber build-out in greater Silicon Valley is on hold for now while Google investigates ways to use wireless tech instead of running hundreds of miles of (expensive, time-consuming) cable.

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