Google Fiber Changing Direction

Carl Weinschenk

When it launched, the question was whether Google Fiber was a serious project or a way to goad telcos and cable companies into creating networks fast enough to support their products and services.

Of course, Google Fiber was serious and has rolled out in many venues. Now, it seems, Google may be anticipating a significant change of direction for Google Fiber. The San Jose Mercury News says that Google may be shifting from a wireline- to wireless-dominated approach in San Jose, Mountain View and Palo Alto, California.

The most definitive sign that the company may be thinking that wireless is better is in San Jose. Almost 100 workers slated to begin the wireline build were taken off the job. An installer said that they were told that the change was made because Google is “thinking of going aerial,” the story says.

Google parent Alphabet has acquired Webpass, which offers advanced wireless technology.

Quadrooter Could Affect 1 Billion Devices

The first sentence of Recode’s story on the malicious Quadrooter app pulls no punches:

Another big security flaw in Android highlights just how messed up the Google ecosystem still is when it comes to security.

Quadrooter, which was found by Check Point, could affect top of the line Android devices that use Snapdragon chips from Qualcomm. The chips are used in very common devices; as many as a billion devices could be at risk.

Android’s process is cumbersome. After Google updates Android, device makers must customize the update for their phones. The update could come from chipmakers, not Google itself, which further complicates the process. The updates have to be tested before being released to the public. The result is that an inordinate amount of time is spent between when a problem is identified and a solution distributed.

Great Days for Software-Defined Wide-Area Networks

Software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WANs) are getting a lot of traction. Network World reports on three recent announcements: EarthLink inked a partnership with vendor VeloCloud, Verizon signed with Viptela, and CloudGenix announced a partnership program aimed at helping customer SD-WAN buildouts.

IDC research cited in the story indicates that 30 percent of enterprises plan to migrate to SD-WANs within two years. The piece is fairly technical, but the bottom line is that the traction SD-WANs are getting is the result of their ability to better handle the much more fluid and diverse needs of modern telecommunications and IT networks.

DOCSIS 3.1 Going Full Duplex

A drawback the cable industry has always faced is that its download capacity – from the headend to the customer – was far greater than the upload. It has spent years trying to compensate for this weakness.

A big step toward alleviating the problem is here. Light Reading reports that industry consortium CableLabs is working on an official specification that will provide full duplex Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) at 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps).

DOCSIS 3.0 is designed to operate at 10 Gbps downstream and 2 Gbps upstream. DOCSIS 3.1, under the new spec, would offer 10 Gbps in both directions. The story adds that Cisco has submitted a plan suggesting what that element of DOCSIS 3.1 should look like.

Easing Deployments in Historic Buildings

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has signed an agreement with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers that will eliminate historic preservation review for small equipment installations that don’t affect building integrity.

Distributed antenna systems and 5G deployments fit the description of the types of installations that will be streamlined. The FCC said in a statement that it expects the pact will reduce the cost and the amount of time it takes to install equipment in historical buildings.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.

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