Mountain View, Calif - Google took steps this week to speed-up nationwide deployment of its Google Fiber service through the acquisition of wireless ISP WebPass.
The wireless provider already offers service at Gigabit speeds in markets such as Miami, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley and San Diego. In addition to offering wireless connectivity to homes and businesses in these areas it also provides backhaul service through its own integrated Ethernet network. Acquisition of these networks would help Google to more rapidly expand its own fiber-based service which currently operates in Atlanta, Kansas City, Provo, Nashville and Austin, Texas.
One possible side-benefit of the purchase may come in the way of helping to expand Google's current cellular service. Known as Project Fi, it currently uses a patchwork of wholesale agreements with existing wireless providers. Using special phones and SIM cards sold exclusively by Google, customers can seamlessly roam between multiple carriers across the country at present for around $20 per month for unlimited voice calls.
The addition of WebPass' existing network and continuing wireless expansion would greatly reduce Google's current operating costs for the service, possibly allowing it to severely undercut rivals such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Google has already been experimenting with a 3.5GHz wireless service in the Kansas City area in an attempt to combine both wireless service to consumers as well as its own backhaul service via Google Fiber.
Google is in the process of deploying its Google Fiber service in the San Francisco area as well, which should mesh perfectly with WebPass' existing wireless capabilities and backhaul network. With a sizable war chest at their disposal and an ever-broadening source of revenues, Google may very well end-up giving traditional telecom, wireless and cable providers a run for their money.