Google Testing 3.5GHz WiFi in Kansas City

Google has been granted approval to test its new 3.5GHz wireless technology within Kansas City, Missouri, using antennae mounted on street lights and other structures to deliver high-speed WiFi to eight areas within the city.

“3.5GHz is pretty innovative and could help Google create a city wide broadband network in KC,” said Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics, told Computer World.

The trial – part of the Federal Communications Committee’s (FCC) Citizens Broadband Radio Service, which aims to deliver 3.5GHz “innovation band” WiFi to cities across the US, using dynamic spectrum sharing – is set to last up to 18 months and will be placed in areas that cannot be practically reached by Google Fiber connections.

“If Google is successful in the 3.5GHz test and goes on to provide commercial services, KC will become the most wirelessly connected gigabit region to benefit from new advanced wireless services,” Assistant City Manager Rick Usher said.

The Kansas City Council voted 11-2 in favour of the 3.5GHz WiFi trial, with Google granted a discounted rate for maintaining the network during the test period.

“Shared spectrum in the 3.5GHz space has the potential to reduce costs and assist in our efforts to erase the digital divide in KC,” Usher added. “Wireless connectivity is a critical element of smart city success due to the massive amount of data generated and utilized in the networks.”

Google Fiber Has Dropped Its Free Tier In Kansas City

Google Fiber is Googles way of providing the internet for a variety of users, with a wide range of choices to help people in all situations. Their $70 gigabit internet access was their most commonly known option, but for those in Kansas City you could also get 5Mbps internet for a small construction fee, or at least you could as it would appear that Google Fiber has now dropped its free tier. The free 5Mbps option is now longer available for selection

The free 5 Mbps option is no longer available for selection, with a new 100 Mbps costing $50 a month and the $100 installation fee waived in exchange for a one-year commitment. Those who are currently on the tier have until the 19th May to say they want to keep it, but with the option also being available in Austin and Provo, the question is will they soon lose the low-cost option.

With the removal being unannounced and no word from Google yet regarding the removal, it is up to anyone’s guess why they have made this move. It could simply be that the days of fiber being considered a luxury experiment are over and with so many people now offering fiber connections for cheap prices, Google fiber may just need to start making money.

AT&T To Bring 300Mbps Fiber To Austin

Austin, Texas seems to be the new place to be if you are interested in a blazing fast Internet connection as AT&T has announced plans to deploy fiber in the city that will ultimately provide speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second.

Known as GigaPower, the service will be an extension of AT&T’s existing U-verse program. At launch, it will be limited to 300 Mbps on the upstream and downstream which is said to be the fastest available to consumers from any Austin broadband provider.

GigaPower will initially reach tens of thousands of customers throughout Austin and the surrounding areas later this year. Those that sign up for the 300 Mbps service will be upgraded to speeds up to 1 gigabit per second at no extra cost when it becomes available in mid-2014.

Dave Nichols, President of AT&T Texas, said Austin embodies innovation and social consciousness and is the heart of a vibrant, ever-evolving tech culture and entrepreneurial spirit. With their all-fiber U-verse services, they are building the foundation for a new wave of innovation for Austin’s consumers, businesses and civic and educational institutions, he said.

Google Fiber is already available in Kansas City, and Google is now running ads for the service in Provo, Utah, where it will launch in mid-October. The service has generated a lot of buzz, and AT&T is hoping that it can overcome some of this in Austin by coming out first.

The fee for Google Fiber is $70 per month for Internet service and $120 per month with a TV bundle. For comparison, Verizon’s 500 megabit-per-second service is only available for homes in a phone and TV package for $309.99 per month.

Google may have an advantage with Fiber by starting from scratch and installing a brand new fiber optic network. This allows all Fiber customers to experience the same speeds. AT&T will instead by tapping into an existing network of fiber optics and copper lines, meaning that not everyone will get the same speed.

AT&T said this is just the start of its super high-speed services, but did not state where it plans to go next.

Thank you TechSpot and IBTimes for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of IBTimes.