Sorry, LA, Dallas, and San Jose. Your Google Fiber hopes have been put on hold…perhaps forever.
Google announced Tuesday that it was freezing any plans to expand into eight “potential cities,” with the other metropolitan areas on the list being Jacksonville, Florida; Oklahoma City; Portland, Oregon; Tampa, Florida; and Phoenix.
Not only that, Craig Barratt, CEO of Google Access, is stepping down.
“We’re ever grateful to these cities for their ongoing partnership and patience, and we’re confident we’ll have an opportunity to resume our partnership discussions once we’ve advanced our technologies and solutions,” Barlatt said of the freeze in a blog post.
Alphabet is also cutting 9 percent of the Google Fiber staff, a “person familiar with the situation”told Bloomberg.
It’s a blow to cable subscribers who rejoiced five years ago when Google announced it was bringing broadband to Kansas City that was 100 times faster than the average internet connection.
It expanded to eight other cities, including Atlanta and Provo, Utah. But building broadband infrastructure is an expensive, time-consuming process, with Google having to convince local governments to let it break ground.
Officially, Google’s parent company, Alphabet isn’t permanently killing plans to expand Fiber. But it’s not a good sign.
According to a source who talked to Business Insider, the company is halting Google Fiber expansion because Access wants to focus on wireless internet service.
San Antonio and other “upcoming cities” will still get Google Fiber, and it’s not disappearing in cities where it’s already located.
But residents of LA and Dallas will have to get comfortable with whatever options they already have.