Gig Bits: Crews laying fiber in Kansas City, Google applies to test Wi-Fi
Google announced the progress of its Fiber project in a blog post published this morning.
Google announced in a blog post published in the wee hours this morning that crews in Kansas City are ready to begin construction of the company's much ballyhooed ultra high-speed fiber network.
"We've measured utility poles; we've studied maps and surveyed neighborhoods; we’ve come up with a comprehensive set of detailed engineering plans; and we’ve eaten way too much barbecue," Google Access general manager Kevin Lo said in the post. "Now, starting today, we’re ready to lay fiber."
Google did not specify what neighborhoods will be connected first, but Scott Canon of the Kansas City Star reported today that Kansas City, Kan. will be first and that work in Kansas City, Mo. "will trail progress in Kansas by a few months."
That would mirror the schedule by which Google revealed it was bringing Fiber to the area. Google announced in March that it had chosen Kansas City, Kan. from more than 1,100 applicant cities to receive its one-gigabit fiber network, which delivers internet service that's about 100 times faster than the high-speed broadband in most U.S. homes. In May, Google revealed plans to expand that coverage to the Missouri side of State Line Road.
The Star reported that the first customers are expected to be connected in the first half of the year. For now, Lo said, Google will "focus on building this solid fiber backbone. Then, as soon as we have an infrastructure that is up and running, we’ll be able to connect Google Fiber into homes across Kansas City!"
A story today by Alyson Raletz of the Kansas City Business Journal said consumer demand is expected to help determine which neighborhoods receive the fiber. The story also delved into the nature of the work crews are undertaking:
Google spokeswoman Jenna Wandres said crews will be working aerially on telephone and utility poles, as well as digging trenches for fiber.
She said more than half of the engineers and installers on the project come from local labor pools, though she declined to reveal specific firms.
Google applies to FCC to test Wi-Fi devices
Also of note from the Mountain View, Calif.-based search and advertising giant: possible plans to test new, high-speed wirless technology in the coming months.
Wireless engineering consultant Steven Crowley on Friday uncovered Google's application to the Federal Communications Comission to field-test wireless devices far faster than any on the market in “real world” settings through late June.
The application indicates the technology would allow Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radio transmissions of internet signals. That could mean ultra-fast upload and download speeds not only for fiber-connected homes but also for tablets, mobile phones and other devices.
"The most recent application shown for Google Fiber seems to describe something similar to a Wi-Fi access point, but perhaps one fast enough for the gigabit speeds to be had in the Kansas City project," Crowley said in a Business Journal story. "It seems to me just an interface to the fiber to connect by radio in the rest of the home. I think that’s all it is — just a connection with, I expect, some enhancements by Google."