Google Fiber was stalled for years but now says it’ll expand to 5 new states

Getty Images | Kalief Browder

Google Fiber says it plans to expand its fiber-to-the-home Internet service to a number of new states for the primary time because it introduced a pause in development in October 2016. The plans are pending native approvals. The Alphabet division mentioned in a press launch at present that it’s “talking to city leaders” in 5 states “with the objective of bringing Google Fiber’s fiber-to-the-home service to their communities.”

The new states are Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada, and Idaho. Three of these have been simply introduced, whereas tasks in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Mesa, Arizona, have been introduced in latest months.

(*5*) Google Fiber CEO Dinni Jain wrote. “In addition, we’d also love to talk to communities that want to build their own fiber networks. We’ve seen this model work effectively in Huntsville and in West Des Moines, and we’ll continue to look for ways to support similar efforts.”

Jain urged folks to “stay tuned in the coming months as we fill in this picture with more details about our new cities, even faster speeds and redefined customer service.” Other than his quote about “the next several years,” Jain did not supply a particular timeline for when residents can anticipate houses to be wired up. However, he wrote that Google Fiber has been busy in different cities recently.

“We’ve been steadily building out our network in all of our cities and surrounding regions, from North Carolina to Utah,” Jain wrote in at present’s announcement. “We’re connecting customers in West Des Moines—making Iowa our first new state in five years—and will soon start construction in neighboring Des Moines.”

5+ years after the “pause”

Google Fiber launched with huge plans to change the US client broadband business in 2012. It confronted issues getting well timed entry to utility poles, and cities that gave faster pole entry to Google Fiber have been sued by AT&T, Charter, and Comcast. AT&T and Comcast received a type of lawsuits towards Nashville.

Google Fiber additionally had issues of its personal making. Buildouts have been restricted, and lots of residents complained the community by no means reached their houses. In Kansas City, the positioning of the primary Google Fiber buildout, some residents bought cancellation emails a number of years after ordering service.

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Google Fiber had some optimistic results on competitors as incumbent ISPs matched the upstart’s gigabit speeds and costs, but the impact was restricted by Google Fiber’s precise community measurement. For instance, in 2015, AT&T matched the $70 gigabit worth in Google Fiber cities but charged $40 extra per thirty days in locations the place it confronted no significant competitors. Even that $70 worth required opting right into a controversial AT&T system that analyzed customers’ Internet habits to ship customized adverts.

Jain, who was COO of Time Warner Cable earlier than that firm was purchased by Charter in 2016, informed Reuters that Google Fiber’s influence on broadband competitors made executives at Time Warner Cable “so paranoid.”

But the momentum reversed, and in October 2016, Google Fiber lower its employees by 9 % and introduced it will “pause” or finish fiber operations in 10 cities the place it hadn’t but absolutely dedicated to constructing. In Louisville, Kentucky, Google Fiber shut off its service in 2019 and agreed to pay the native authorities $3.84 million to take away uncovered fiber cables left behind by the ISP’s failed nano-trenching experiment.

Google Fiber purchased the wi-fi ISP Webpass in 2016 to present broadband in some areas the place it did not set up fiber. As of now, its web site lists fiber service in 12 metro areas and wi-fi residence Internet in seven. As beforehand famous on this story, Google Fiber’s announcement mentioned the plan for the 5 new metro areas is to use fiber-to-the-home, not wi-fi.

No plan to “build the entire country”

According to Reuters, Jain mentioned “that his team was finally prepared to ‘add a little bit more build velocity’ after over four years of sharpening operations.” The selections of 5 new metro areas “were based on the company’s findings of where speeds lag,” the article mentioned.

Google Fiber’s earlier outcomes counsel the buildouts are seemingly to cowl solely parts of the new metro areas, and Jain confused that he is not wanting to rival the most important ISPs in nationwide presence. “There was an impression 10 years ago that Google Fiber was trying to build the entire country,” Jain informed Reuters. “What we are gesturing here is, ‘No, we are not trying to build the entire country.'”

Alphabet is slowing its hiring tempo, so Google Fiber can have to be even handed in the way it spends cash. In addition to fiber-to-the-home buildouts, it “will continue to pursue wireless service, through its Webpass brand, for multi-unit buildings” and “lease local fiber networks from other providers” in some circumstances, Reuters wrote.

“The intent is to build businesses that will be successful in and of their own right, and that is what we are trying to do at Google Fiber for sure,” Jain mentioned, including that the Alphabet subsidiary cannot merely depend on “a rich parent’s wallet.”

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