Google possibly investigating high-speed wireless alternatives to fiber

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in google on (#2TEA)
On Monday, Google sought permission from the Federal Communications Commission to conduct tests of “proprietary wireless applications” in a section of the electromagnetic spectrum that experts say could serve as a perfect replacement for fiber. Google declined to comment on its application for experimental radio service licenses for the 5.8 GHz, 24 GHz, 72 GHz and 82 GHz bands. In correspondence with the FCC, Google went so far as to request confidential treatment.

This is spurring speculation that Google may be looking to wireless alternatives for gigabit speed internet access in future Google Fiber cities. This could allow them to run fiber to the block, and use wireless distribution for the last-mile. Potentially, a cheaper alternative to costly fiber roll-outs to individual homes.

High frequency spectrum is “not an unreasonable way to think about replacing fiber to the home,” McFarland said. “However you’d need a clear line of sight. You could have something on a telephone pole on the street, and you could point it at an antenna on top of your house. As long as you had no obstructions, you could get multiple gigabits per second.”

Re: There is no replacement for fiber. (Score: 1)

by entropy@pipedot.org on 2014-10-22 12:04 (#2TJZ)

I've used microwave..that was the licensed frequency stuff that I've used in the past. Now granted it was a different ballpark of equipment than someone using high frequency trading might use so not exactly apples to apples. But what caliber equipment would google use to deliver internet service to the home? I'm betting closer to the stuff I've used than the stuff wallstreet uses. Keep in mind in a point to multipoint environment(unless you're using a satelite) you're not using a directional antenna at both end, and may not even have line of sight--So you're dealing with reflection of signal and all the fun stuff that happens with that.

It seems (http://us.aviatnetworks.com/solutions/low-latency-microwave/) microwave propogates faster than light through a fiber optic cable. Cool. So there's certainly a latency advantage.

But if given a choice between fiber to the home, and microwave to my home I'd still choose fiber, even at a higher price. While I may suffer 2ms in latency, I'll gladly take that in return for subterranian cable run to my home, higher reliability, and likely higher future bandwidth.

My satelite TV suffered from rain fade during storms. Did yours? Also keep in mind that's a direct line of sight link.
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