Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), (NASDAQ:GOOG), is no longer interested in a fiber optic internet cable service. But it does not mean that the company is going to abandon Fiber. Instead of using fiber optic cables, the company is planning to use a wireless technology to spread its high-speed internet to many U.S. cities and metropolitan areas, according to a report from Wired.
Alphabet has halted the expansion of its Fiber internet service. The company is reportedly moving hundreds of employees to other departments at Google. Fiber internet service is being managed by Google Access division.
Google Fiber was launched in 2010. It was first introduced to the Kansas City metropolitan area. The service is then expanded to Austin, and Provo, Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh–Durham, Nashville, Salt Lake City, and San Antonio.
Fiber offers four options, depending on customer’s location: a 100 MB internet option; a 1 GB option; a 100 MB + TV option; and a 1GB + TV option.
Access recently appointed a new CEO. Greg McCray is a broadband veteran who has been tasked with finding new ways to bring faster—and presumably cheaper—high-speed internet access to the rest of the country.
Access’ restructuring will not affect the places where Fiber is already available, according to the report. The company is still pushing forward with plans to offer Fiber in Nashville, Louisville, and San Antonio.
Fiber Future Looks More Wireless
Providing a high-speed internet though the traditional cables-in-the-ground is expensive. And Google is eyeing high-speed wireless internet as a way to bypass more expensive traditional broadband.
Last year, Google bought Webpass, a company that beams high-speed broadband via networks of small antennas. The company has been in business for 13 years and has a large presence in California, as well as in San Diego, Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Chicago, and Boston. Webpass might allow Fiber to provide the high-speed internet to individual customers by tapping into existing fiber optic infrastructure without having to string new cables along utility poles or dig up people’s yards.
Fiber is testing new wireless technologies in Kansas City. It could expand those experiments to other cities as well. Meanwhile, the company petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to open up more of the wireless spectrum that Webpass uses, which could enable Fiber to expand wirelessly much more quickly, according to the Wired report.
Alphabet is still trying to figure out how to be an internet service provider. There is a possibility that the company could one-day resume efforts to bring actual fiber into homes if it can figure out a way that costs a lot less money. But for now, the future of Google’s high-speed internet looks decidedly wireless.
“Google Fiber remains focused on our customers and cities. We want to bring Google Fiber to customers faster, so we’re focused on making deployment more efficient and less intrusive,” Fiber said in a statement.