Recently the broadband industry and consumers have been shocked by the news that Google Fiber its halting all new deployments of its fiber optic network in the cities that were recently announced as the next fiber hubs:
Chicago, Dallas, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Jose and Tampa are out of the Google Fiber plans for the moment.
Some consumers are feeling disappointed as their broadband dreams are vanishing away. And if you are on the outside of the industry, the recent Google announcement might feel like a stab in the back from the big corp with tons of cash.
But if you look closely, and have some industry information; these are not bad news at all. Back in June, Google announced the acquisition of Webpass, an ISP with operations in several markets in the US including San Francisco, Miami, Boston, Chicago among others. What its special about Webpass is that they are a Wireless ISP that focuses in serving Multi Dwelling Units (MDUS) with high capacity fixed wireless access. Webpass services both the residential and commercial segments with speeds up to 500 Mbps.
Since the closing of the Webpass acquisition back in October, the industry has been rumorning that Google was favoring wireless as a access medium over fiber, and it seems that with the Webpass integration, wireless technology knowledge have moved to Google higher levels and the decision was made.
Google halting all new fiber deployments comes as no surprise to me and its a validation of our business model. Fiber its expensive and slow to deploy; Wireless technologies are maturing at a fast pace and its time has come to shine bright. Millimeter wave technology (equipment that operates higher than 30 GHz) is posing as a the new contender for fiber-like wireless access and will be able to be deployed faster and less costly that fiber to the home.
Google is not the only company looking at fixed wireless as an alternate access medium, Facebook is heavily invested in several projects including TIP and Terragraph. Verizon and AT&T both are currently running trials of the technology and even Amazon has announced that it too whats a piece of the action.
|Facebook Terragraph access site concept|
So to all those crying foul at Google Fiber, I say; wait. Good news will follow. Be it from Google Fiber or other alternatives broadband providers that are already deploying ultra fast broadband access using microwave technologies. Google moving to wireless, brings clout to the industry, more importantly; investment and faster development of new technologies and products.