Alphabet chairman, Eric Schmidt, announced last Wednesday at Google's annual shareholder's meeting that the company is planning to bring wireless internet technology to consumers.
This is the first publicly transparent announcement from Google's newest parent company, Alphabet, recently established as a tech conglomerate that will own the household brand along with its other business subsidiaries.
The restructuring allows Google heads Larry Page and Sergey Brin, now Alphabet's CEO and president, respectively, to work on more elaborate and "moonshot" undertakings that were previously limited by investors, such as the provision of wireless internet.
The Alphabet chairman also reaffirmed that the company was "serious" in this undertaking and disclosed that he had met with executive officers on Tuesday to discuss the technology. Present at the meeting reportedly were CEO Page and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Ruth Porat.
According to Schmidt, the recent advances in technology have allowed the introduction of better ways to provide internet means to its consumers. Specifically, the improvements done on semiconductors allows the company to set up "point to point" wireless solutions that accurately target households. This makes network foundations less expensive than laying down cables.
"These point to point solutions are now cheaper than digging up your garden and so forth," Schmidt adds.
Internet providers such as Facebook get most of their revenue from the number of online accesses consumers provide. Those consumers in less dense areas make the installation of physical cables more expensive than populated communities.
"One of the things that is intriguing about wireless is that it allows you [to] reach houses and users that are in lower density settings — where fiber becomes too expensive," the Access CEO Craig Barratt explained.
This technological breakthrough is a product of the company's goal to increase the availability of high-speed internet while at the same time maintaining costs at a relatively low price.
To test the project, Alphabet's latest undertaking will be breaking grounds in Kansas City, targeting year's end to produce a working network of wireless connections in the city. Various methods of internet "beaming" will be explored, one of which requires the installation of specialized chips in homes to receive the wireless signal.
Schmidt reassures that this technological breakthrough will deliver the same bandwidth Google Fiber provides. Meaning, the same one-gigabit performance physical cables can transfer from providers to consumers.
Other projects were also discussed at the shareholder's meeting, such as three-dimensional (3D) printed buildings, artificial intelligence (AI), meat imitations from plants and virtual reality (VR).
Photo: Joi Ito | Flickr