Google Fiber inches toward Louisville, Kentucky, service launch, but wireless broadband will be the focus

Google Fiber appears ready to restart its service deployment in Louisville, Kentucky, but when it eventually takes the service live the provider reportedly will take a wireless broadband route.

Citing various sources close to the company, a TechRepublic article said that the fledgling FTTH provider could roll out service sometime this week.

What’s telling about this new development is that it comes after a period of turmoil at the company. After putting all of its new gigabit network deployments on hold, Google Fiber’s leader Craig Barratt stepped down.

RELATED: Google Fiber gets preliminary approval in Nashville, still faces AT&T, Comcast opposition

If Google does go live with a wireless broadband service in Louisville—one that it started experimenting with following its acquisition of Webpass, a San Francisco-based ISP that offers fiber and wireless-based broadband services—it starts a new era for the service provider.  

Louisville was one of the key battlegrounds for Google Fiber. The service provider and the city worked to pass a "one touch make ready" (OTMR) ordinance that would allow Google Fiber and other new entrants to access existing utility poles owned by AT&T and electric utilities to string fiber cable along streets and into homes and businesses.

The OTMR ordinance was a source of controversy between Google Fiber and Louisville’s incumbent telco AT&T, which sued Louisville for passing the utility pole attachment ordinance. OTMR would allow service providers like Google Fiber to move existing utility lines from AT&T and other service providers.

Louisville’s mayor would not comment on Google Fiber’s revised plans for the city.

For its part, Google Fiber said that it will proceed with its service plans for the city, but did not provide a specific timeline.

"We remain committed to bringing Google Fiber to Louisville and are excited about the future,” a Google Fiber spokesperson told TechRepublic. “We've made great progress and we will have more details to share soon as we continue to work with the Mayor's office to find innovative new ways to deploy superfast internet."