Michael Short — Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Aaron Pressman
August 11, 2016

Google is looking to cut the cost of wiring up homes for broadband Internet service by using wireless technology.

After recently suspending plans in Mountain View and Palo Alto, Calif. to connect homes in the common way with fiber optic cables, the search giant’s Fiber unit has asked federal regulators for permission try an experimental wireless solution.

The company wants to try the wireless method in non-commercial tests starting in six California cities and six other cities scattered around the country, Google said in an August 5 filing with the Federal Communications Commission. Another 12 locations could be added later, the filing indicated.

Google declined further comment.

Internet service would ride on high band spectrum, in the 3.5 GHz range, which has the capacity to carry much larger amounts of data than lower band channels, but does not travel as far or penetrate buildings as deeply. Many of the exact methods Google plans to use were redacted from the publicly released version of Google’s application.

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Google (googl) said its initial California deployments would be in Atwater, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Bruno, San Francisco, and San Jose. In other states, Google will set up early tests in Boulder, Co., Kansas City, Kan., Omaha, Neb., Raleigh, N.C., Provo, Utah, and Reston, Va.

Google’s filing also included 12 more possible test sites that could be used later. They were listed as Los Angeles, Calif., Phoenix, Ariz., Tampa, Fla., Atlanta, Ga., Chicago, Ill., Des Moines, Iowa, Las Vegas, Nev., New York, N.Y., Oklahoma City, Okla., Portland, Ore., Austin, Texas, and Blacksburg, Va.

Google isn’t alone in considering the possibilities of using high-band spectrum to connect homes and avoid the cost of wiring homes individually. Verizon Communications (vz) announced it would expand its FiOS Internet and cable TV service to Boston with wireless technology and may expand to additional cities.

The filing follows Google’s planned acquisition of Webpass, announced last month. The 13-year-old company offers Internet service in five regions around the country with wireless transmissions connecting apartment buildings and business offices.

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