Google isn’t giving up on their quest to provide the public with super-fast Internet access, but it looks like they are switching from wired to wireless.
The tech leader had been working on “Google Fiber” to that end, and a whole division had been formed for the purpose, named Access. It’s CEO, Craig Barratt, dropped a bomb on the company blog last month:
“We’re going to pause our operations and offices while we refine our approaches.”
Not only was the message a surprise, but it was followed in close succession by the subsequent shocks of Barratt’s resignation and Google founder Larry Page’s instructions to disband the entire division.
Barratt’s statement said that there would be changes in product strategy and focus would be moved to newer technology, as well as other methods of deployment, in order to provide more super-fast Internet access than is currently available.
There was never a huge amount of enthusiasm among users for Google Fiber, and the low subscriptions reflected that. Still, the expectation was always that adoption would increase eventually, so the sudden cut off seemed very dramatic. And puzzling, as well.
Until, shortly afterward, it was rumored that Google applied to the FCC for permission to try an experimental wireless broadband service in urban areas around the country.
The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that the new tech will also be able to provide gigabit data rates. Although they will be limited to short distances, they will be cheap in comparison to the fiber optic lines which Google Fiber consists of if recent developments in technology are used to their expected advantages.
Furthermore, it sounds like the new service will be using the same high frequency air waves that will constitute the future 5G cell networks. If Google can get the same speed with wireless for a whole lot less money than fiber, then it’s probably no surprise after all that the division got dumped.