Google Is Asking FCC to Approve 17-State 6GHz Network Test

In a recent request to the Federal Communications Commission, Google is apparently aiming to conduct a broadband network test in several US states. It’s not entirely clear exactly what Google’s up to, but FCC documents spotted by Business Insider indicate the company’s project involves tests centered on the 6GHz spectrum band.

“Google proposes to conduct experimental propagation testing in the 6GHz band to produce technical information relevant to the utility of these frequencies for providing reliable broadband connections,” the company stated in the “Public Redacted Version” of its request to the FCC.

Additional documents indicate the project involves transmission sites at two dozen locations in 17 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.

In all several major cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Austin are also mentioned and “areas of operation” vary from 7 to 40 km (4.3 to 24.9 miles) from the center of each test area. Google also states that it’s working to minimize any impacts to other uses in and around the 6GHz range, including amateur radio and government radiolocation.

Earlier this year, the FCC adopted new rules for the 6GHz band, a move it said should aid new uses, like the next-generation WiFi standard known as WiFi 6. Google’s known for experimenting in a variety of fields and industries, and it’s possible this new test is related to existing programs, like Google Fiber Webpass or next-generation wireless routers.

Of course, we’ll continue to monitor Google’s request and report back if any more concrete details emerge.

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