Report: Google Eyes Gigabit Wi-Fi

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During the company's annual shareholder meeting, Chairman Eric Schmidt this week tipped a wireless technology that could match the speed provided by fiber-optic cables.

According to Schmidt, improvements to computer chips and wireless signal targeting have made "point-to-point" wireless Internet connections "cheaper than digging up your garden," The Wall Street Journal reported.

While wired connections are faster than wireless ones, delivering 1 gigabit-per-second speeds to Fiber users requires Google to lay underground cable—an expensive and time-consuming project.

Google, however, is already testing wireless technology in Kansas City, the first Fiber market, and hopes to have a demonstration network operating there by next year, according to the Journal. Other programs under consideration could require users to set up a special device in their home to receive signals.

Schmidt said he met with Alphabet CEO Larry Page, CFO Ruth Porat, and other executives early this week to discuss the company's options.

Google did not immediately respond to PCMag's request for comment.

Google in July 2012 officially became a service provider with the launch of Google Fiber. Nearly two years later, the Web giant was rumored to be adding a Wi-Fi network to its super-fast in-home Internet.

Fiber is currently operating in Atlanta, Austin, Kansas City, (Missouri and Kansas), Nashville, and Provo, Utah; it will roll out soon to Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Huntsville, Ala.; Salt Lake City, Utah; San Antonio, Tex.; and San Francisco, Calif.

A number of potential cities are also on the map, including Chicago, Irvine, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Louisville, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Portland (Oreg.), San Diego, San Jose, and Tampa.

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