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Tue June 5, 2012
New Google Fiber Hardware Possibly En Route To Kansas City
An IP set-top box with a Google Fiber label was recently added to the FCC database, Engadget reports. The label suggests the device is part of the Google Fiber project in development for Kansas City, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo.
Engadget's Richard Lawler reports:
"The MAC address shown in the picture is registered to Google directly, while the test report calls it an IP set-top box, equipped with WiFi, IR, USB, Ethernet, HDMI input and output and an Ethernet / coax (we assume MoCA?) bridge, which sounds similar to the boxes favored by Verizon's FiOS."
A set-top box is used in television systems to transform signals from cable or satellite for use on TV sets.
Whether or not the set-tops are being sent to Kansas City is unconfirmed, but the Google Fiber label makes it easy to speculate. In March, both Kansas and Missouri gave Google permission to provide video services to KC residents. The company has looked into offering video content from Disney, Time Warner and Discovery, but since nothing has been confirmed, Google is not in line to replace cable or satellite TV yet.
The device itself lends some insight into the rumors about the giant company starting to manufacture its own hardware.
Rumors about other in-progress Google hardware devices, like an in-home wireless music streaming system and something branded a "next generation personal communication device," have been circulating since late last year. The company also recently acquired Motorola Mobility, which makes mobile hardware like smartphones and tablets. Analysts speculate that the acquisition will help Google expand its presence in the mobile market.
Update 1:06pm: A Google spokesperson added, "We're still exploring what product offerings will be available when we launch Google Fiber in Kansas City and we have nothing to announce at this time."