Google plans test for new ultrafast Internet

Google strengthened its commitment to bring super fast, gigabit-per-second Internet to homes this week by filing with the FCC for permission to test new Wi-Fi technology.

While the tech giant has requested confidential treatment for the filing, Google has said that it will use frequencies of 5.8 GHz, 24.2 GHz, 72 GHz and 82 GHz in testing their new concept. Currently, 2.4 GHz is the most commonly used Wi-Fi band and it is becoming increasingly congested as more individuals connect more devices to networks.

The project, which was first launched by Google four years ago, is scheduled to have its next test in mid-November. Testing will take place in three locations within the San Francisco Bay area. Experts who are familiar with the filing believe the new technology could be a reliable replacement for traditional fiber, ValueWalk reported. Researchers have also hailed Google's technology as a faster, more cost-effective way to provide ultrafast Internet service.

Telecom expert Stephen Crowley noted in a blog post that Google is experimenting with higher radio frequencies so there will be more available options. With more frequencies to choose from, more bandwidth becomes available and data speed increase dramatically. The frequencies being used in Google's upcoming test work best in short distances and will require users to connect directly to a receiver.

Faster connections not without obstacles 
According to Forbes contributor Elise Ackerman, using a 60 GHz standard known as WiGig would allow connections of up to six gigabits per second, which is six times faster than the speeds currently offered by Google Fiber. While such a frequency would provide ultrafast Internet, it also has its downsides.

"The problem that you encounter when you get to these really high frequencies is the propagation starts to be almost like light," said Bill McFarland, vice president of technology for Qualcomm Atheros. "Sixty gigahertz doesn't like to go through walls. It's very directional. It goes in the direction you point it."

McFarland went on to say that this characteristic is amplified as the frequency increases. He added that as long as receivers have a clean line of sight to the area requiring  the Internet connection, it wouldn't be unreasonable to consider using Google's new Wi-Fi technology as a replacement for fiber.