According to an FCC filing, Google Fiber's next experimental stage is nigh. The tech titan is purportedly seeking permission to test high-speed wireless broadband in 24 US locations, including 12 cities, for a period up to 24 months. Their goal: hook a bunch of company men up and try out experimental transmitters over the 3.4 to 3.8 MHz frequency range.
Some of the locations include those where wired Fiber is already operating, like San Francisco, but not all, like Boulder, Colorado, Provo, Utah and Reston, Virginia, as Re/code points out. The company chose said cities for their radio propagation environment, buildings and foliage to test interference, pre-existing Google infrastructure and "existence of partners who may participate in the tests," according to the filing.
This may be in part referring to Webpass, the ISP Google acquired back in June that already served point-to-point wireless and fiber internet to tens of thousands of customers. Crucially, delivering it over the air bypasses many regulatory requirements for wiring homes up directly to a telecommunications grid. But any further specifics on this round of testing requires more digging: over a hundred items are redacted in the 34-pageFCC filing.
But if you happen to be in one of the test cities, don't get your hopes up yet: The company notes in the filing that these tests won't involve the average user. Only Google employees, contractors and "trusted testors" under close supervision will get to try out the wireless fiber. Until the testing goes public, we'll all have to wait. Patiently.
Google’s undersea cable between the US and Japan goes live
Thousands of miles of undersea wires now connect the United States and Japan, carrying speeds roughly 10 million times faster than a cable modem.
The $300 million ‘Faster’ cable system is backed by six companies, including Google, and runs through the Pacific Ocean from Oregon to Chiba and Mie.
After years of planning, construction, and end-to-end testing, the trans-Pacific cable system has finally been completed and began service on Thursday.
The system has a greater total capacity than any other undersea cable, Google SVP of Technical Infrastructure Urs Hölzle revealed in a blog post.
It can deliver 60 terabits per second of bandwidth 5,600 miles across the ocean, bringing high speed connection to users in the US and Japan.
‘Internet users and our customers in Japan today should notice things seem to be moving a bit…FASTER,’ Hölzle wrote.
‘Today, our FASTER subsea cable between Japan and the U.S. officially entered into service.’
It has landing points in Oregon, in the US, and Chiba and Mie, in Japan, but the benefits won’t be limited only to these areas.
The submarine cable system has extended connections along the West Coast, allowing it to cover Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland, and Seattle.
And, this connectivity will reach many major cities in Japan and other Asian locations.
The Faster Cable system was built through the collaboration of six international companies and NEC Corporation.
It transmits multiple colours of light over various frequencies, using a repeater to reenergize the light roughly every 37 miles.
Construction was first announced in August 2014.
‘From the very beginning of the project, we repeatedly said to each other, ‘faster, Faster and FASTER,’ and at one point it because the project name, and today it becomes a reality, said Hiromitsu Todokoro, Chairman of the FASTER Management Committee.
‘This is the outcome of six members’ collaborative contribution and expertise together with NEC’s support.
Along with this achievement, Google will open its Google Cloud Platform region in Tokyo later this year, for a faster and more secure public cloud, according to Hölzle.
Faster isn’t the only subsea cable system, the SVP explained, but it is the most powerful.
Hundreds of submarine cables connect different areas of the word, to ‘collectively form an important backbone that helps run the Internet.’
Google Fiber wants to make landlines useful again
It may seem like almost no one uses a landline these days - and now, Googlewants to change that.
The company today unveiled a new Fiber Phone service that will be made available to a few US markets and later expanded to other cities where Google offers high-speed internet.
It works as a cloud-based phone number that can use from any tablet, computer, or phone.
The service adds a few high-tech features to the landline, such as transcribing voice mails and delivering them as written messages.
For $10 a month, users get unlimited local and nationwide calls, caller ID, 911 calls, call waiting, and voicemail transcription.
People who already have a landline can keep their current number, or choose a different one.
Because Google Fiber Phone numbers 'lives in the cloud,' users can forward all calls to their landline to your mobile device when they travel.
The service comes with a little black box that is positioned beside your home phone.
It has both ethernet and phone jacks, and will work with most handsets except, Google said.
'While mobile have pushed us toward the future, home phone service is still important to many families,' Google's John Shriver-Blake said in a blog post.
'Landlines can be familiar, reliable and provide high-quality service, but the technology hasn't always kept up,' he said.
'That's why today, we're introducing Fiber Phone as a new option to help you stay connected wherever you are.'
The new service enables 'getting access on the road, in the office, or wherever you are,' Shriver-Blake said.
'Your Fiber Phone number lives in the cloud, which means that you can use it on almost any phone, tablet or laptop. It can ring your landline when you're home, or your mobile device when you're on-the-go,' he added.
Launched as an experimental project in 2010, Google Fiber is available in Provo; Kansas City, Missouri; Kansas City, Kansas; and Austin, Texas.
The service uses optical fibre to deliver speeds far in excess of traditional web services.
Google Fiber boasts that its service can download an entire movie in less than two minutes and that it has vast potential in business, science and education.
The company citsd the example of a geneticist in Provo, Utah, who can download an entire human genome, or about 200 gigabytes worth of data, via Google Fiber in less than half an hour.
That compares with 77 hours at traditional broadband speeds.
The company’s blog post on Tuesday did not make clear when it would begin selling phone service or what market it would arrive in first.