Google Looking to Provide WiFi in Google Fiber Cities
Google is exploring the idea of providing WiFi services in cities that are being eyed for its Google Fiber high-speed Internet service, carrying out plans it first unveiled in February.Google Fiber ultra-high-speed Internet access may not be the only new technology service being considered by the company for some 34 U.S. cities. Google also may be considering bringing WiFi service to the cities on its list of areas being considered for Google Fiber.
Google Fiber first raised that possibility back in February 2014 when it released a "checklist" for communities that would like to have Google Fiber service come to their towns. In that checklist, Google Fiber said it was also "exploring the possibility of deploying Wi-Fi in future Google Fiber cities. Requirements related to Wi-Fi are not included in this checklist, but we will be discussing our Wi-Fi plans and related requirements with your city as we move forward with your city during this planning process."
Google Fiber is now moving that idea further along, by raising it directly in letters to the 34 cities that are being considered for Fiber, according to an April 24 report by IDG News Service. Specific details about the possibility were not released, according to the report.
In an email response to eWEEK, a Google spokeswoman confirmed that the previously announced WiFi possibilities will be explored. "We'd love to be able to bring outdoor Wi-Fi access to all of our Fiber cities, although we don't have any specific plans to announce right now," the spokeswoman said.The Google letters to the 34 cities ask for detailed information about the communities and give a May 1 deadline for replies, according to the IDGNS story. The letters seek lists of property addresses and building types as well as geospatial data files containing information on streets, boundaries, rights of way, manholes, utility poles, zoning types and more, the story reports. Also sought is information on where Google could build and maintain utility huts that would house the equipment for Fiber services. After the information is received by Google, the company will then perform a detailed study to see if the projects will move forward, the report said. In the letters, Google said it hopes to have updates on which cities will get Fiber by the end of the year, the story said. Google announced its plans to consider 34 additional U.S. cities in nine metro areas for Fiber service back in February 2014. The 34 additional communities—which are clustered around the Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Nashville, Tenn.; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; San Antonio; Salt Lake City; and San Jose, Calif., metro areas—were invited to work with Google Fiber to see if they are interested in having the Gigabit-speed cable TV and Internet services brought to their communities for new subscribers. The specific communities within these metro areas that will actually get Google Fiber services will be chosen and announced over the next year.