A new filing gives us more information about the wireless broadband equipment that Google is testing in Kansas City, where it already operates its high-speed internet service Fibre, hinting that it might eventually provide a wireless “last mile” for Fibre.
Today, Google runs high bandwidth fibre optic cable directly to each home the network serves. The filing indicates that, in the future, it might instead terminate the fibre cable at an earlier point, then use the new wireless technology to deliver internet to nearby homes.
In September, Google applied for special temporary authority to expand testing in the 3.5 GHz band in Kansas City — a frequency which the FCC recently designated for new licensed and unlicensed wireless broadband services — and the company is now seeking to extend that authorization for 24 months.
It’s also asking to expand its authorization to between 3400 and 3700 MHz (previously, the lowest frequency it asked for was 3550 MHz).
In the new heavily redacted filing with the Federal Communications Commission, Google discusses “demonstrations of [REDACTED] experimental transmitters” for its “experimental broadband networks.” The new filing is also the first time Google mentions access points and base stations that will communicate with “end user devices,” indicating that this isn’t just some back-end technology that Google is testing.
Although Google likely isn’t building a full-fledged wireless service (the company recently said that it won’t be bidding for the airwaves used by mobile carriers) the fact that its expanding its 3.5 GHz tests from current (Fibre-less) locations in Mountain View and Virginia to Kansas City mean it could be experimenting with a wireless “last mile” for Fibre.
Google declined to comment on its plans.
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