Monday, October 3, 2016

Fiber, Wireless and Google

Some decade ago I mentioned to some top folks at Google that fiber to the home was a long and unfruitful hill to climb. Wireless would be the game of the future and those with a license will have a head start. Google bought into Meraki, a mesh WiFi system, and then proceeded to plow ahead with fiber just as we got out. And yes, let Cisco buy Meraki. Between the Franchise and pole attachments, and the massive delays of build outs we have no way we can see that an overbuild of fiber will work. Add to that the new advantages of wireless and well, only big egos with no insight would go forward.

Now it appears as if Google is heading towards wireless but at the 70-80 GHz band. Ooops, another mistake. As Wired notes:

The spectrum in question—the 70/80 Ghz band—is used by Webpass, the San Francisco broadband company now owned by Google Fiber (the acquisition closed today). Webpass uses this band to beam an Internet signal to the roofs of apartment buildings and condos, before stringing cables into living rooms. Google wants FCC rules that would allow it to use such technology on a much larger scale. Google Fiber is as a separate company under the umbrella operation called Alphabet, and according to some reports it is under pressure to cut costs—even as it expands its high-speed Internet service and pushes entrenched companies like Verizon and AT&T toward similar services. A faster Internet is good for Google.

What should be good for Google is growing positive cash flow.This adventure may not be one.