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Monday, October 31, 2016

Salvaging Google Fiber's Achievements | diffraction analysis

Salvaging Google Fiber's Achievements | diffraction analysis: "Google’s acquisition of Webpass however is interesting. Few journalists took the time to try and understand what Webpass does. Webpass uses wireless solutions for urban aggregation, not access. In other words, it doesn’t connect homes wirelessly, it connects multi-tenant buildings wirelessly and uses existing in-building wiring to connect the homes from the rooftop antenna.

 It’s a clever approach that solves two fundamental deployment issues:
– it eliminates the need to pull fiber along street poles or bury ducts in the pavement to pull fiber along the streets. This is both costly and time consuming;
– it eliminates the need to deploy fiber inside the homes, also expensive and time-consuming, by reusing the existing wiring.

 However, that approach does not seem to me to be so universal as to be usable in any deployment scenario. There are a number of potential issues that I see with it:

first, you need to target multi-tenant buildings to make the economics work. I suspect (again, not knowing the exact costs of their solution) that the equipment necessary to install this on single homes would make the price point too high. Furthermore, you need line of sight between rooftops which is comparatively easy when people live in high downtown MDUs, not so easy when they live in detached homes.
second, you need to be able to reuse the existing cabling in the house.

I haven’t had time to look into the specific regulatory aspects of this (and particularly to see if this varies from state to state or county to county in the US) but my bet is you can’t always bank on being able to reuse the cabling, especially if it’s been deployed by an incumbent or a cable operator. I may be wrong here, and I will be doing my homework on this, but I’m flagging it as a risk.

This doesn’t mean that Webpass doesn’t open up opportunities. I don’t think you’d get as good and stable a service as you’d get with FTTH but you might get a service that’s good enough for most customers’ needs.

Would it be good enough to compete with AT&T’s FTTC ? Most likely. Good enough to compete with Cable’s Docsis 3.1 as it gets deployed ? Less likely." 'via Blog this'

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