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Google Fiber Wants To Beam Wireless Internet To Your Home (yahoo.com) 74

An anonymous reader writes: When Google Fiber first launched in Kansas, its main goal was to provide high-speed internet and cable services for reasonable prices. Now, Google wants to beam wireless broadband directly into homes all across America. They haven't figured out all of the logistics, but the technology would solve the "last mile problem," which is typically addressed by the slow, pricey process of connecting a series of cables into homes. Google Fiber is currently working on connecting wireless towers to existing fiber lines by experimenting with different wireless technologies. Alphabet, Google's parent company, will be able to build a nationwide network able to compete with ATT, Verizon and Comcast -- if it develops such a solution. Google Access CEO, who oversees Fiber, said the plan is to develop "abundant and ubiquitous networks" that will provide "some real benefit to the internet as a whole."
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Google Fiber Wants To Beam Wireless Internet To Your Home

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  • On What Spectrum? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rsmith-mac ( 639075 ) on Saturday April 16, 2016 @06:09AM (#51920593)

    I'm all for a disruption of the current ISP landscape. But this seems to be another pie in the sky Google idea at the moment.

    Above everything else, I'd like to know what spectrum they plan on using. The less desirable 2GHz+ bands are all but full, never mind the stuff below that. Even if you want to do fixed point wireless (which doesn't have a great history) I'm not sure where they could get the spectrum they need to launch a service that would compete with the likes of AT&T and Verizon.

    • I'm all for a disruption of the current ISP landscape. But this seems to be another pie in the sky Google idea at the moment.

      Above everything else, I'd like to know what spectrum they plan on using. The less desirable 2GHz+ bands are all but full, never mind the stuff below that. Even if you want to do fixed point wireless (which doesn't have a great history) I'm not sure where they could get the spectrum they need to launch a service that would compete with the likes of AT&T and Verizon.

      I have this vision of an army of Google driverless cars roaming aimlessly through streets as mobile signal extenders; all with a stuffed animal version of the Android thing in the driver's seat. As they roam around various ads appear on the sides of the car, all targeted at the demographics of the neighborhood they are in.We can all hail our new Google ISP overlord...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is just another example of trying to solve the wrong problem. Gigabit fiber is great for businesses and universities, but massive overkill for the average consumer. Running all new wiring to every house in every neighborhood in every city makes no sense when we already have wiring in place that can easily provide what people need. The obstacle is not the wires, it's the cable/telephone oligopolies.

      • The obstacle is not the wires, it's the cable/telephone oligopolies.

        That's exactly why they're running new connections of their own - so they can compete with the incumbents. Fibre just happens to be the most future-proof way to do it.

        And while broad wireless is great for low-bandwidth, low-cost, and mobile links, it's no substitute for the data firehose that is fibre, so they'll still be rolling out that. But maybe large-scale wireless will let them compete with existing ADSL providers at minimal cost.

      • This is just another example of trying to solve the wrong problem. Megabit cable is great for businesses and universities, but massive overkill for the average consumer. Running all new coax to every house in every neighborhood in every city makes no sense when we already have wiring in place that can easily provide the dial up that people need.

        • Megabit cable is great for businesses and universities, but massive overkill for the average consumer.

          i, for one, definitely feel over privileged with my two multi-megabit connections...

    • Even if you want to do fixed point wireless (which doesn't have a great history) I'm not sure where they could get the spectrum they need to launch a service that would compete with the likes of AT&T and Verizon.

      An interesting perspective, but it might just be that competing with the likes of AT&T and Verizon is exactly what Google wants to do. It's been speculated that one of the intended purposes of Google Fiber is "...to keep vendors, distributors and regulators on their feet. [sfgate.com]" Mobile providers sell fairly expensive metered bandwidth, and their many of their policies haven't always been customer-friendly. Introducing unmetered wireless gigabit internet might just be a way to keep the mobile providers in c

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        How would that, keeping them in check, benefit Google?

        • How would that, keeping them in check, benefit Google?

          That is a good question. How does a fair and open internet benefit Google? Let's not forget that residential ISP's have been forcing content providers (e.g. Netflix) to purchase exclusive internet connectivity to their backbones rather than upgrading their backhauls at intermediary providers...effectively double-dipping with their customers. They're trying to go after YouTube (a Google company) as well, and I assume that if Google Play takes off, they'll go after that too.

          Also, due to Verizon and AT&

          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            That seems a rather round-about way to go about it and I'm not sure how effective it'd really be - on a grander scale. It seems like a rather large capital risk for what's probably a fairly minimal gain. There's gotta be something I'm not seeing. I've figured their goal with ISP activities would be to gather information and present adverts inserted into the stream directly at some point. I've expected them to do something like offer free service that's "paid for" by accepting ads being inserted and your bro

            • I'm not really sure, either. However, I can say that in some Google Fiber markets, Comcast is trying to compete with Gb downloads (still crappy 35 Mb/s uploads). I saw the same thing when FIOS came to my neighborhood and my local cable provider began offering faster service. It's a hell of a lot of capital investment, and I'm sure that Google sees an endgame in it. I would be surprised if it involved spewing ads that other ISP's wouldn't, but then again - if enough of us use Google services, I'm sure th
              • by KGIII ( 973947 )

                It might be something along those lines... They provision greater speeds and that forces the incumbent/traditional ISPs to up their speeds (and maybe lower costs) which enables Google to deliver "rich" (read necessitating big pipes) content as a regular thing. Basically, if they offer it then others in that market are, as you indicate, forced to compete.

                Google, in the ad business, wants people to have fat pipes - I'm guessing. The fatter the pipes, the richer and greater in number the ads that can be displa

                • ...or just add .gq to the end of my username and put it into the address ba...

                  Not seeing anything except "various browsers" can't find find server at...

                  Sounds very interesting though!

        • https://fi.google.com/ [google.com]

          Since they have their own cell provider, which currently runs on T-Mobile, Sprint and Wifi, maybe this is a way to cut out the T-Mobile and Sprint parts of that and provide their own system.

    • Even if you want to do fixed point wireless (which doesn't have a great history)

      I'm not sure what you mean by that. I had fixed point wireless for several years; it worked fine and was cheap.

      Above everything else, I'd like to know what spectrum they plan on using. The less desirable 2GHz+ bands are all but full,

      The obvious choices are 2.4GHz, 5GHz and laser. For directional communications, whether the "bands are full" doesn't matter.

    • by bgarcia ( 33222 )

      I'd like to know what spectrum they plan on using

      I would imagine that they're thinking about using some old television broadcast spectrum. It's able to travel long distances and penetrate walls.
      The FCC’s upcoming broadcast-TV spectrum auction [computerworld.com]

    • Check out this
      http://www.beamspeed.com/ [beamspeed.com]

      They've been in business for quite some time. I've never used them so I can't comment on their actual performance but it is not a new thing.

    • by dattaway ( 3088 )

      3.5GHz
      http://www.kansascity.com/news... [kansascity.com]

    • If it's like what I have now, it comes in basically on the 802.11 spectrum. The antennae sit on water towers (cheaper than the rent on cell towers I'm told). I live in a semi-rural area and the tower I point at is like 3 miles away. I'll also point that that you must have line of site to the tower or it's a no go. I can get 5Mb down on a good day. During the busy 6p-9p I'm lucky to get 1.5Mb which makes Netflix rough. Yes, our area is oversold but they won't upgrade. :( They say they have equipment that can
    • 3.5 GHz http://www.fiercewireless.com/... [fiercewireless.com] http://www.fiercewireless.com/... [fiercewireless.com]
  • Wow, so Google is inventing Cell Tower Backhaul?

    http://business.comcast.com/ethernet/products/cell-backhaul

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Not sure where you're getting the idea they're inventing something. All summary says is they're thinking of deploying.

  • There are multiple agencies with easement rights and rights of way, and access to homes, offices and factories. Google designed a self driving car. It could design a semi-autonomous robot that trails fiber behind it and swim up the sewer lines and connect homes. Wondering why Google did not think about that. [google.com]
    • It could design a semi-autonomous robot that trails fiber behind it and swim up the sewer lines and connect homes.

      For that matter, the fiber could be flushed from inside the home and (ick) grabbed at the City Main in the service right-of-way.

      It would remain viable only until the drain stopped up and the plumber brought the rooter out.

    • Google's offering was an April Fool, though a strange one given this was already happening [slashdot.org].

    • If someone could make a robot that crawled through sewer pipes doing stuff, they could make a robot that crawled through water mains detecting and fixing leaks. We lose many times more water in transport than we lose electricity in transmission!

  • Can the beam reach the basement where I live? I'll go ask my Mom if we can get it...
  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Saturday April 16, 2016 @07:14AM (#51920681) Homepage Journal

    Ah, so that's a good reason for the Alphabet breakup - so not-Google can compete with Google's partners (often hegemonists, so fair game in my book).

  • My crappy WISP (Digital Path) just instituted caps! I had to go up from $70/mo to $80/mo just to get a 200GB cap, there's two of us in this house and we stream TV. My services is "up to 10 Mbps" but I'm lucky to get 7.5.

    It's a shame Google is so shit at web design (seen the G+ redesign? they added MOAR WHITESPACE, which is basically the only thing literally everyone told them not to do) but I'm more than ready for them to become my local WISP.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Saturday April 16, 2016 @11:22AM (#51921711)

    I expect that this service will be cancelled in due time, leaving it's subscribers scrambling for alternatives.

  • Looking at wireless is certainly understandable if you want coverage beyond urban areas. Deploying fiber-to-the-door is daunting in suburbs and really unfathomable in rural areas. Anyone trying to plan such an expansion will eventually reach a level of frustration that makes WISP seem really attractive.

    Having watched this almost-market, (was thinking of starting one) my observation was that most wanna-be players didn't have a way to start with sufficient scale and presence. Technology is no problem, all the

    • Google Access may implement their own 3.5 GHz wireless internet service -or- they might partner with an existing wireless internet service provider (WISP). This approach leverages Google's end user presence and strengthens the WISP serving rural areas, small towns & cities, or the outskirts of a large metro area. It all fits. Google finances the deployment of the fiber backbone (this is the backhaul to an internet), a tower is erected (or leased or shared with a partner WISP), point to point links c
  • New phased array systems or similar that dedicate a beam of signal or more to each home. This allows users to share the same spectrum and have full use of the spectrum and bandwidth to themselves. Multiple terabits or greater is possible. Its basically like installing wireless fiber as focused beams of laser light between the receiving and transmitter have The same capacity as fiber. It doesn't even require special installation when done right as The devices can sync up and focus and listen in any direction

  • I'm fairly sure that's what we did at Clearwire a few years ago. Difference was we mostly built our own microwave backbone, but did use fiber for a few local hubs.

  • ...is what Rock Island Communications (rockisland.com) calls it. It comes in two flavors 2100MHz (B12) and 700MHz (B4). With T-Mobile's help they are deploying it throughout the San Juan County, WA. area. The Cell sectors operate at up to 30 watts, and the CPE operates at about 0.2 watts. Throughput is much better than any DSL service available. It fits perfectly into Rock Island's fiber deployment strategy because they gain a foothold in a community using LTE and then later expand fiber coverage in t

  • We oppose it; They interfere with our drones :)
  • The cable companies could do the same thing themselves with a huge added advantage over Google: the wired infrastructure needed to feed the last-mile wireless transmitters is already in place. If Google's main objective is to pressure the existing cable/ISP monopolies into upping their game and lowering their prices, then it's a great idea, as is their gigagit fiber program. Otherwise it seems like a vanity/marketing project.

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