Google Fiber Halts Expansion Plans In 10 Cities As Jobs Cuts Loom With A Shift In Focus To Wireless Deployments

The hope that Google would eventually roll out its crazy fast fiber optic Internet service to virtually all corners of the continental United States was dashed on Monday when the company announced it was hitting the pause button on future expansion efforts. Google's sudden shift in strategy also means there will be some job losses in the coming days and weeks.

Google Fiber

What this all means to you depends on where you live. Google isn't completely abandoning its Fiber service. In the eight metro areas where Google Fiber already exists, the service will continue to be offered and supported. Google will also proceed with plans to expand in four additional areas that it previously committed to. However, there are 10 other locations that Google identified as "potential" Fiber cities and those are the ones being put on pause. They include:
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Portland, Oregon
  • San Diego, California
  • San Jose, California
  • Tampa, Florida
"Now, just as any competitive business must, we have to continue not only to grow, but also stay ahead of the curve—pushing the boundaries of technology, business, and policy—to remain a leader in delivering super fast Internet. We have refined our plan going forward to achieve these objectives. It entails us making changes to focus our business and product strategy. Importantly, the plan enhances our focus on new technology and deployment methods to make super fast Internet more abundant than it is today," Google Fiber CEO Craig Barratt stated in a blog post.

Barratt, who is also an Alphabet senior vice president, further noted that he is stepping down as CEO of Google Fiber, but will remain on as an advisor. No replacement has been named.

With Google hitting the pause button on its Fiber expansion, it looks as though the company will focus on wireless. That was the intention when Google acquired Webpass back in June, a gigabit ISP with point-to-point wireless solutions.

"At Google Fiber we’re particularly excited about Webpass’ application of point-to-point wireless deployment methodology. As we’ve said, our strategy going forward will be a hybrid approach with wireless playing an integral part. Webpass has proven that point-to-point wireless is a reliable way to connect more people to high-speed Internet in a densely populated environment, by setting up wireless transmission links between buildings," Google said at the time.

While Barratt didn't come right out and say that Google is shifting its focus to wireless deployment, he did bring up a change in business strategy, and this seems like the logical path.