Google and its Alphabet parent is apparently not quite as hot on fiber as it once was. According to this post yesterday on Google Fiber's blog, they are retrenching and pausing their plans to move into some new cities. The division is apparently letting go some 9% of its workforce, and the head of the company's Access unit, Craig Barratt, is leaving as well.
Google Fiber generated and leveraged a popular wave to kick off FTTH services in Kansas City, and then followed up with a few dozen more markets. The idea was to prove that it wasn't as hard as incumbents like AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink were saying it was to make the business model work. But reality seems to finally be catching up with those dreams. The buzz has moved on, and I guess the prospect of actually grinding out deployments, whether aerial or underground, is less appealing than it used to be to the Silicon Valley giant.
So most of the company's 'potential fiber cities' are now on hold, which AT&T is probably cheering right now since most are in their incumbent territory. Just what happens next for Google Fiber is unclear. They could continue to operate it of course, just scaling back on the larger plans and focusing on the markets they have already invested in. But they could also look to sell it, and that could create an interesting situation to say the least.
Who would the buyer be? Now that's a question I'll have to think about.
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