Can Google Fiber deliver broadband without the fiber?

Various moves in recent months by Google Fiber’s parent, renamed Alphabet, signal that the company could ultimately swap the costly-to-install glass fiber-optic lines for antennas and radio waves.

The swap could reflect the company’s experience in Kansas City, where the still-ongoing work of building a network has introduced Google Fiber to the costs and delays of construction.

The shift could mean a pause in the internet seller’s ambitious expansion plans. Few people outside Kansas City and a few other markets have one-gigabit-per-second connections at home. If the growth of that super-connectivity stalls, developers will have less incentive to find new applications that make the most of it.

Yet Google Fiber also hopes that by leapfrogging to wireless deployment — most likely in cities where it’s yet to build — it could ultimately sell faster internet hookups and install the service to homes and businesses without ripping up streets and lawns.

Read more: Kansas City Star


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