Google is looking to speed up the rollout of its gigabit Internet service with the acquisition of Webpass, a 13-year-old ISP that offers what it calls “point-to-point wireless” service to businesses, apartment buildings and condos in five metropolitan areas -- San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Boston, and Miami. In a blog post announcing the deal, Webpass president Charles Barr said that the acquisition is expected to close this summer.
Google Fiber is currently present in five U.S. cities with plans to expand to about 20 more in the near future. The acquisition should help Google with its Fiber rollout in San Francisco, where Webpass already has a strong presence. The service’s pricing and branding will remain the same after the acquisition according to Google. That is, connections as fast 1Gbps for either $550 per year or $65 per month for the 1Gbps service.
By comparison, Google currently charges about $80 a month for the same speed. Their approach to delivering service differs a bit, too. Whereas Google Fiber runs fiber optic cables to each customer’s home, Webpass beams Internet to a fixed antenna on the building, and then runs data cables into each apartment unit.
“Joining Google Fiber will be a great development for our users because the companies share the same vision of the future and commitment to the customer,” says Charles Barr. “Google Fiber’s resources will enable Webpass to grow faster and reach many more customers than we could as a standalone company.”
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.