Google documents hint at Wi-Fi component to Fiber buildout

According to documents unearthed by IDG News Service, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) may add Wi-Fi capabilities to its rollout of fiber connections in select cities across the country.

In documents Google has circulated with 34 cities where it is considering expanding its Google Fiber service, the company said it will be "discussing our Wi-Fi plans and related requirements with your city as we move forward with your city during this planning process." When contacted for clarification by IDG, Google said: "We'd love to be able to bring Wi-Fi access to all of our Fiber cities, but we don't have any specific plans to announce right now."

The addition of Wi-Fi to Google Fiber could create a significant new element in Google's efforts to extend Internet connections to Americans. As part of its Google Fiber effort, Google is working to offer low-cost wired Internet connections in select participating cities. Adding Wi-Fi to Google Fiber could allow Google to offer connections not only to residents and businesses but also nearby laptop, smartphone and tablet users.

Further, the recent momentum behind Hotspot 2.0 technology could position Google's possible Wi-Fi play as an alternative to cellular services, if Google decides to support Hotspot 2.0 in its possible Wi-Fi rollout. Hotspot 2.0 technology allows smartphone and tablet users to seamlessly roam from a cellular connection to a Wi-Fi connection, without first having to log on. Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) have both said Hotspot 2.0 will be supported in their public Wi-Fi networks. Article