Google Fiber is utilizing microtrenching technology and self-installation methods in order to speed up the deployment and installation of its Fiber to the Home (FTTH) service. Microtrenching, a technology already widely used in Europe, allows Google Fiber to make grooves on the roads and place the fiber line within those grooves. The procedure involves two machines. The first machine makes the grooves and then lays out the fiber optic cable, and the second machine vacuums the dirt created by the grooving procedure. The key advantage of this procedure is that it makes Google Fiber less dependent on the poles built by its competitors. This results in a cheaper deployment process as the company no longer needs to pay for the access to the poles. Also, Google Fiber spends less time applying for permits with the local government, which ultimately makes the deployment process faster. Google Fiber is also working with community partners in order to scale its fiber network more effectively. For example, Google Fiber is leasing the middle mile network facilities of the city government of Huntsville, Alabama which it will then utilize to deliver FTTH services to the city residents.
While microtrenching reduces the time and cost needed for the deployment of Google Fiber’s broadband service, the company’s self-installation methods could do the same for the installation of the fiber service within the home of the subscriber. Once Google Fiber finalizes the self-installation methods that it will employ, it hopes that it will decrease the subscribers’ waiting time for the installation as they no longer need to wait for a technician. The reduced need for a technician also translates to a reduction of installation expenses that Google Fiber currently spends.
Google Fiber also hinted on the use of wireless technologies to further expand the areas served by its services. Last year, the search giant acquired the wireless internet service provider Webpass and later on included its wireless high-speed Internet service to Google Fiber’s offerings. While Google Fiber mentioned that it is looking into how the Webpass model could be incorporated in areas already served by its FTTH service, it did not provide any timeline on when the company will begin utilizing its wireless networking service in the target areas.