Google Fiber looks for alternatives to building its own network

Eric Abent - Aug 15, 2016, 10:20 am CDT
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Google Fiber looks for alternatives to building its own network

If you’ve been disappointed by the rather slow roll out of Google Fiber, it would appear you’re not alone. Alphabet Inc. seems a little frustrated as well, and as a result, the company will begin looking for alternatives to laying its own cable and building out its network at its current slow pace. These new initiatives would include testing wireless technologies, leasing existing fiber networks, and working with towns and municipalities to get them to lay the fiber networks Google would ultimately use.

Leasing existing networks and rolling out new fiber connections wirelessly serves two purposes for Alphabet: not only would taking a multi-faceted approach to fiber roll out cut costs, but it would also accelerate the speed at which Google Fiber could launch its service for new customers. If you’re anywhere outside of Google Fiber’s test regions and have been craving those sweet, sweet fiber connections, faster roll out is anything but bad. This news is also encouraging in light of recent delays, with Google moving back the time frame for some cities by as much as six months.

In addition to laying its own cables, Google has been working with some cities and municipalities to get fiber laid at the same time as electric cables when new houses are built, and it could bring fiber to existing locations faster by leasing fiber networks that are currently underused. Google’s wireless approach would entail using its fiber network to feed antennas that wirelessly connect customers to the internet, something that would help cut back on costs significantly.

These decisions come as Alphabet discovers the headaches associated with building a fiber network from what is essentially the ground up – when you have to tear up yards to lay down cable and deal with competitors who block off utility poles, it all amounts to a roll out that is slow, expensive, and laborious.

Hopefully these initiatives help Google Fiber expand its network at a faster tick, because with the company recently delaying roll outs in places like San Jose and Portland, it sounds like something has to be done to get the ball moving a little more quickly.

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal


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