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Google said to suspend Silicon Valley fiber deployments as it evaluates 'aerial' options

Google has reportedly reassigned workers who were set to install Google Fiber in Silicon Valley, telling them the company is evaluating an alternative plan to “go aerial.” According to the San Jose Mercury News, city officials have been told that Google Fiber builds are delayed, but none have been told that plans are cancelled.
If Google is evaluating a wireless alternative to fiber, Silicon Valley would be a good place to do so. Earlier this year, Google Fiber announced plans to buy a San Francisco internet service provider called Webpass, which has been testing a wireless technology called pCell.
The pCell, which stands for personal cell, was developed by another San Francisco company called Artemis Networks. Artemis radios transmit signals that deliberately interfere with each other and then combine to create 1 centimeter personal cells for each LTE device on the network. Artemis claims that pCells will provide full wireless signal to each user, regardless of the congestion in the area. Last year the company leased H-Block spectrum from Dish Networks to test the pCell solution in San Francisco.
Artemis, which was founded by former Apple scientist Steve Perlman, promises “gigabit LTE” via a 32-antenna network hub that is currently available for selective trials. Perlman told Wired Magazine that he looks forward to continuing his work with Webpass as it becomes part of Google Fiber.
Google Fiber has said nothing publicly about Webpass or Artemis in connection with its plans for boosting internet speeds in Silicon Valley. Google Fiber is already live in six U.S. cities, and it has probably helped Google’s business in many more. The specter of Google Fiber is motivating wireless carriers and cable operators to accelerate their own investments in internet access technologies, and anything that increases access to the internet is good for Google’s core business.
Wireless alternatives to fiber
Wireless alternatives to fiber are of interest to mobile network operators as well. Verizon Wireless said recently that it has conducted tests in New Jersey showing fixed wireless speeds of up to 1.8 gigabits per second. Startups that have been working for years to develop wireless backhaul solutions are hopeful.
“Wireless technology offers high performance, gigabit internet speeds, rivaling the best fiber connections,” said Jamie Fink, co-founder of Mimosa Networks. “The technology also mitigates the cost and disruption of digging trenches for fiber, which has traditionally been one of the main barriers to deployment.”
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ABOUT AUTHOR

Martha DeGrassehttp://www.nbreports.com
Martha DeGrasse is the publisher of Network Builder Reports (nbreports.com). At RCR, Martha authored more than 20 in-depth feature reports and more than 2,400 news articles. She also created the Mobile Minute and the 5 Things to Know Today series. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York and managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Martha is the board president of Austin's Trinity Center and is a member of the Women's Wireless Leadership Forum.

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