The quest by Google to cover the United States in high-speed wireless Internet took a step forward this week when the tech giant’s Google Fiber division bought California-based Internet service provider Webpass. The deal, announced yesterday, is expected to close sometime during the summer pending regulatory approval.
Webpass mainly offers service to multi-unit residential buildings and businesses at $60 a month for speeds ranging from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps. Webpass charges the same price regardless of speed, which depends on the location of the building within the network. Webpass has said its wireless latency is comparable to that of fiber.
Its high-speed fiber services are available in parts of several metropolitan areas in California, including San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego. Webpass also offers wireless service in Miami, Chicago and Boston. The 13-year-old company had been planning to install fiber-to-the-premises in some other locations to add to its wireless network, something Google Fiber presumably will do now that it has Webpass’s infrastructure in hand.
"By joining forces, we can accelerate the deployment of superfast Internet connections for customers across the U.S.," Webpass founder Charles Barr wrote on the company’s blog. "Webpass will remain focused on rapid deployment of high-speed Internet connections for residential and commercial buildings, primarily using point-to-point wireless."
Barr added that Webpass will be able to grow faster and reach more customers with Google Fiber behind it than it would on its own. The company plans to use its new corporate resources to expand its operations in the cities where it’s already offered.
Google Fiber offers fiber-to-the-home service in Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas; Nashville, Tenn.; and Provo, Utah. It’s looking into expanding to another 18 metro areas.
"The acquisition does a couple of things, Teresa Mastrangelo, founder of marketing analysis and consulting firm Broadband Trends, told us today. "First, it gives them access to markets where they are not currently active. In addition, Webpass has been focused primarily on [multiple-dwelling units], so that also provides Google Fiber with quick access to a large number of potential customers."
Mastrangelo added that the deal offers Google Fiber the chance to sell existing Webpass customers additional services beyond just Internet access. It also gives the ISP immediate access to wireless technology that could be applied to its other markets.
Earlier this year, Google revealed plans to use existing but unused cabling in San Francisco to bring its high-speed Fiber service to some residents in that city. The broadband service, which promises speeds of up to a gigabit per second, will be available for residents in apartments and condominiums where fiber optic cabling is already present.
Posted: 2016-08-03 @ 9:14pm PT
We need more and better options than Comcast and satellite in Weymouth, MA.