Google has announced its plans to scale back its fibre broadband network, with the company apparently exploring the cheaper option of wireless technology. Jaime Fink, Co-Founder and CPO at Mimosa Networks discusses why fixed wireless broadband has become such an attractive alternative for Google.
Fibre can be problematic to deploy in built-up urban and suburban areas, causing serious disruption and requiring considerable feats of engineering to install. It is not only logistics but also cost that acts as a barrier; fibre is approximately three times more expensive than its copper counterpart. It simply doesn’t offer the return on investment that service providers need to roll it out ubiquitously.
A method for the cost effective expansion of high-speed broadband is required to bridge the gap between expensive fibre and low-performance copper. This has opened up a market opportunity for service providers, such as Google, to take advantage of fixed wireless. The technology offers high performance, gigabit internet speeds, rivalling the best fibre connections. It also mitigates the cost and disruption of digging trenches for fibre, which has traditionally been one of the main barriers to deployment.
For large incumbent service providers, wireless broadband now makes it commercially feasible to extend broadband services to areas currently starved of connectivity, to meet the call from customers and industry bodies for better broadband. It also offers inroads for new players to muscle in on the incumbents, competing directly on the speed and price of their wireless services.