Google looking to test Wi-Fi gateway

Wireless consultant Steve Crowley late last week discovered an application Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) filed with the Federal Communications Commission asking for approval for a trial of a Wi-Fi-enabled residential gateway. The request has many in the industry believing that Google is looking to test a product with 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology in it, the one-gigabit-plus proposed standard being a good match for its 1 Gbps fiber network projects in Kansas City and Palo Alto.

If that's the case, it would add a new wrinkle to the broadband model that Google plans to offer, one that would make telcos look bad for not doing enough with broadband, just as their fiber build-out proposes to do. While Google has long been talking about plugging fiber into homes it has not been completely clear the variety of things it might do on the other side of that connection with home network coverage and applications

The 802.11ac standard, however, is not due for approval until late in the year, and there may not be many 802.11ac products available for testing yet--not that Google will have trouble getting its hands on some prototypes to trial.

Another possibility here is that Google could test and start out with 802.11n products, though as GigaOM points out, 802.11n gear would create a bandwidth bottleneck for Google's fat pipe.

For more:
- see this GigaOM post

Related articles:
Apple reportedly has been eyeing 802.11ac
Could Google speed up its K.C. build with an acquisition?

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