Silicon Prairie News

Gig Bits: Google eyes deployment technology, Eric Schmidt talks Fiber

Kansas City March 1, 2012 by Michael Stacy Only 15 days until Big Omaha. Get your tickets before they sell out!

Another day, another report of paperwork that could shed light on Google's plans for its Fiber network in Kansas City.

FierceCable on Monday reported it had unearthed a patent application that indicates Google has developed a fiber deployment method and device that could allow the company to connect homes to its ultra high-speed network in Kansas City without digging trenches in the yards of subscribers. That news comes on the heels of reports that Google filed separate applications to build an antenna farm in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to operate video services in Kansas and Missouri and to test high-speed Wi-Fi devices. 

The FierceCable story says that Google "has developed a narrow edging strip similar to decorative wall molding that would conceal fiber run from demarcation points in streets to subscriber homes." Presumably, that would reduce the labor required to connect buildings to the Google Fiber network, thus accelerating the timeline for going live with the internet service. 

In the patent application, which was filed on Dec. 29, Google said that "aspects of the invention provide a low-impact, convenient, time-efficient and cost-saving optical fiber deployment technology."

That news isn't likely to cause the same buzz as previous reports of applications by Google, because this patent application deals more with how Google will deliver its one-gigabit network to buildings than how Google intends to put that speed to use once the buildings are connected. Still, it's one more piece in the Fiber puzzle. 

Schmidt fields Fiber question

During a question-and-answer session following his keynote Tuesday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt (photo above) addressed the company's project in Kansas City. More on that from a story published Tuesday on CNET:

He also showed a talent for stand-up comedy when asked about Google Fiber, the effort to bring super-fast fiber-optic Internet access to the denizens of Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan. Just what are the project's implications?

"People will want to move to Kansas City, Kansas," he quipped, getting a good laugh.

Schmidt's apparent attempt at standup aside, he offered some insights on what one-gigabit speeds could mean. "At the speeds we're moving, the distinctions between television, radio, DVD, and high-definition [video] just disappear," he said. "It's all just bits."

That sort of talk should sufficiently fan the flames of speculation that Google intends to deliver "cloud television" via its Fiber network. 

Per the CNET article, Schmidt said he expects almost every city to have a fiber network of its own by 2020. He also discussed some of the specs of his company's first large-scale foray into fiber. "So much of the infrastructure we grew up with is because of technical limitations which fiber simply eliminates," Schmidt said. "Ours should generate 300 to 500 megabits sustained," enough for "true holographic images."

(Update) Here's a video of Schmidt's commenting on Google Fiber:

 

Credit: Photo of Eric Schmidt from google.com.

Hat tip to KCITP for the video of Schmidt.


Gig Bits is an occasional feature that provides a rundown of the latest newsworthy nuggets related to the Google Fiber project in the Kansas City area.

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