Google Fiber is going wireless in Austin through Webpass

The tech giant's latest broadband efforts embrace Webpass' fixed wireless deployment.

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
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Eli Blumenthal

Google is deploying Fiber wirelessly in Austin through its Webpass subsidiary. 

CNET/Marguerite Reardon

Google Fiber is expanding its Austin offering, and it is doing so with gigabit wireless internet. 

This week the internet giant announced it would be expanding Fiber in the city through its Webpass subsidiary, offering a new wireless way to connect people to its high-speed internet service. 

While Google has been providing gigabit internet in Austin since 2014, the new announcement marks the first time the company has combined its wired broadband with Webpass' fixed wireless internet service in the same city. 

The method focuses on apartment buildings and condos. Unlike traditional cable or broadband internet that needs to be wired into your building, Webpass beams internet from antennas on rooftops in your area. That signal is then sent to your building's roof, which has a receiver that's wired to take the signal and send it your apartment or home.  

This method, called Google Fiber Webpass, will allow Google to reach more people while not requiring it to dig and hardwire each individual building the same as it would with a traditional broadband expansion. Other wireless broadband companies, such as Starry, use a similar system. 

Webpass is already live in seven cities, with Austin marking its eighth. Google bought Webpass in 2016 but has been fairly quiet with the service since. In a blog post on Tuesday, Google said it's starting the new rollout in the "downtown and [is] adding new buildings to our network as quickly as possible."