updated 06:16 am EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
Documents to residents mention planned Wi-Fi service
Google is looking to create Wi-Fi networks in cities where Google Fiber is being deployed, leaked documents have revealed. The company is said to be sending the documents to 34 cities that have been identified as the next target areas for Google Fiber, advising that it was "discussing our Wi-Fi plans and related requirements with your city as we move forward" during the planning process.
Computerworld reports that the documents sent to residents does allude to Wi-Fi, though it stops short of explaining what users will be able to expect from the service. A statement from Google writes "We'd love to be able to bring Wi-Fi access to all our Fiber cities, but we don't have any specific plans to announce right now."
Expansion plans for Google Fiber
Rolling out its own Wi-Fi network is one way Google could allow access to its Internet service in a city, though there may be another. Reports earlier this month suggested Google was looking into creating a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in Fiber cities, giving users access to their Internet services and voice calling over a cellular connection when they are out of range of Wi-Fi hotspots.
The cities have also been sent a more detailed request for information, including addresses and building descriptions, geospatial data files, boundaries and rights of way, zoning types, and the locations of manholes and utility poles. Potential locations for utility huts are also requested, with the huts used to store networking equipment and needs to be accessible by Google 24 hours a day. The 34 cities have until May 1st to respond to the request. The data request will help Google perform a detailed study and decide which cities will get Google Fiber before the end of the year, the company advised in the documents.