Google seeks authorization to expand wireless testing

Google seeks authorization to expand wireless testing
© Getty Images

Google is seeking federal permission to vastly expand its efforts to deliver broadband service wirelessly, Business Insider reported on Wednesday night.

In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission earlier this month but first noted by Business Insider, the company asked for permission to use “experimental transmitters” in up to 24 locations in the United States for as long as two years.

ADVERTISEMENT
In the redacted version of the filing, Google asks for permission to operate in wireless spectrum between 3.4 GHz and 3.8 GHz. The FCC this year took additional steps to open up the 3.5 GHz band for different uses, including mobile broadband.

Google told Business Insider in a statement that the company is “working to test the viability of a wireless network that relies on newly available spectrum” but described the effort as being in a preliminary stage.

Indeed, just this year, Google asked for permission to test wireless equipment is Kansas City — one of the cities served by its Google Fiber internet service.

A company executive said in April that it was experimenting with wireless to expand the reach of its broadband offerings beyond areas that can easily be served by fiber cable.

“One of the things that is intriguing about wireless is that it allows you reach houses and users that are in lower density settings — where fiber becomes too expensive,” the executive, Craig Barratt, told Recode. “So providing fixed wireless services using some of the technologies we think are ways of accelerating our deployments.”