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Google points to Iowa for sowing satellite antenna farm

If approved by the FCC, Google's satellite dishes could get feeds from broadcast networks and even be bundled with the company's high-speed Internet service.

Google announced earlier this month that it was gearing up to start laying fiber-optic lines in Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo., to deliver very high-speed Internet access to residents. Now, the Web giant is setting it sights on Iowa, according to Data Center Knowledge.

"We are building a very small earth station project that is right next to our data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa," says Google spokesperson Jenna Wandres.

If all goes according to Google's plans, the antennas would receive feeds from broadcast networks and even be bundled with the high-speed fiber service, according to Data Center Knowledge.

When Google first announced its nation-wide Google Fiber project in 2010, around 1,100 U.S. towns and cities applied to get in on the deal. In cases such as the Kansas City project, general manager of Google Access Kevin Lo said, "new high-speed infrastructure will ultimately be carrying Kansas Citians' data at speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have today."

In order to get the antenna project started, Google still needs permission from the Federal Communications Commission to use satellite data. According to Data Center Knowledge, the 4.5-meter satellite dishes would provide analog and digital audio, data, and video services via access to transmissions from satellites including Intelsat 9, which carries international television programming.

Last November, Google mentioned that it was considering adding TV services to its high-speed fiber service in the Kansas to Missouri line. And, according to Data Center Knowledge, Google's Eric Schmidt announced in December that, "by the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded."

Updated 2/23 4:10 p.m. PT: To add the quote from Google spokesperson Jenna Wandres and correct the statement that said, "Google Fiber is looking to erect a satellite antenna farm on a 1,000-acre tract of land near its data center." The project will be much smaller, and it won't use the 1,000-acre parcel at all.