Google targeting Boulder, 23 other cities to test new wireless network

BOULDER — The city of Boulder has so far been passed over for coveted Google Fiber broadband Internet service as the company has set up shop in cities such as Kansas City; Austin, Texas; and Provo, Utah. But it appears the company might be targeting the city for some form of next-generation wireless broadband network.

According to a recent filing with the Federal Communications Commission, Boulder is one of 24 cities where Google Inc. is seeking to test wireless broadband technology in the 3.5 GHz band.

The FCC has been finalizing rules that would make additional spectrum available in the 3.5 GHz band to help improve broadband access for consumers.

Google’s FCC filing indicates that the company would operate experimental transmitters in the various cities, initially deploying in a dozen cities, including Boulder; San Francisco; Palo Alto, Calif.; Omaha, Neb.; and Raleigh, N.C. Boulder is the only city in Colorado among the full 24 mentioned in the filing.

The new wireless technology would be tested on end-user devices by Google employees and contractors, as well as volunteers selected by the company. The company is not seeking to conduct commercial operations under the requested authorization.

Google Fiber’s current service runs fiber-optic cable directly to homes, and is also available in Atlanta, Nashville, Tenn., and Charlotte, N.C.

But a Google spokesperson acknowledged in an emailed statement Tuesday that the company is “working to test the viability of a wireless network that relies on newly available spectrum.”

“The project is in its early stages today, but we hope this technology can one day help deliver more abundant internet access to consumers,” the statement read.

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About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry's first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
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