Analyst Likens Google Fiber To Ebola, As Service Had Just 29867 TV Subscribers In 2014
It's not too often that a product gets equated to a vicious disease, but today, that comparison comes from MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett. In talking about Google's Fiber service, Moffett claims that it's getting more exposure than it should be, given that its numbers are so low. In effect, it's "a bit like Ebola: very scary and something to be taken seriously... but the numbers are very small." Well, alrighty then.
The unfortunate thing in that comparison is that it's true, as long as we're talking only about cable access, which is center of focus here. In all, Google Fiber supplies just under 30,000 homes with cable access in the U.S., which is a drop in the bucket compared to its rivals, like Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
It's a fair point to raise, but there's a lot more to the story here. Google Fiber might not be killing it in the cable market, but the fact of the matter is, tech enthusiasts everywhere want Google's service for Internet access - and Google doesn't disclose subscriber information for that.
I'd also wager that tech enthusiasts are probably less likely to even want cable access. They're instead subscribing to services like Netflix and Hulu to get their fix. There's a reason networks like HBO are launching online counterparts - a lot of people are cutting the cable, so to speak.
What you take from all of this depends on your perspective. If you're an executive at a big cable company, you might be able to relax a bit based on this report. If I were an exec of such a company, I wouldn't be - you have to look at the big picture. Cable subscriptions are stalling or are on the decline, and demand for really high-speed Internet is at an all-time high. If Google were able to accelerate the spread of Fiber throughout the US, we could likewise see acceleration of the decline of customers for companies like Comcast.