Google Fiber was launched back in 2010 and even though the service is expanding its coverage, it’s still quite limited. It was first introduced into the Kansas City metropolitan area and it was available in only 20 suburbs. The service is now available in cities like Austin, Provo, Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Nashville, Salt Lake City and San Antonio. What makes this service so attractive is that some of their plans include internet with speeds reaching 1 Gbps and there’s an optional TV service with DVR capabilities. The infrastructure of Google Fiber includes aggregators called Google Fiber Hubs that reach into the homes of the users, these are used in order to avoid complex underground cabling. Cables coming out from the Hubs usually travel through utility posts and they stop at the Optical Network Terminals called Fiber Jacks in each home. In September, Google filed for an authorization to keep testing some technology, which seems to suggest that they might change how the infrastructure for this service works, just a little bit.
The company wants to test the 3.5 GHz band in Kansas City for another 24 months, this band is used for wireless broadband services. Also, they are asking to operate in frequencies from 3400 MHz to 3700 MHz, while they previously asked for frequencies as low as 3550 MHz. The filing discusses some demonstrations for “experimental transmitters” to operate their “experimental broadband networks”. Also, it makes reference to access points and base stations that will communicate with “end user devices”, so we know that this technology might be tested within physical devices.
If all of these facts sound too technical, it could basically mean that Google might provide their service wirelessly from the Hubs to the homes of the users. Perhaps some homes where the service is currently unavailable could get Google Fiber in a near future, provided that they’re located near a Fiber Hub. Once again, the expansion of the service might not be as fast as some users would like, because even when they are testing wireless technology for Fiber, Google has said before that they don’t plan on using airwaves from mobile carriers to build a full wireless service.