On Tuesday, Google (GOOG) announced it will be "pausing" operations and offices in most of its potential Fiber cities. Work will continue in cities where infrastructure is already laid out or Fiber is already launched.
The list of potential Fiber cities where operations will be halted includes Dallas, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Portland, San Jose and Tampa. In a post on the official blog, Craig Barratt, SVP, Alphabet and CEO of Access, wrote, “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 superfast Internet. We have refined our plan going forward to achieve these objectives.” He added, "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." Barratt also revealed that he is leaving the Access team and will serve as an advisor.
Google’s ambitious Fiber project was announced in February 2010, and the company aims to deliver Internet speeds more than a hundred times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections.
Access, the Alphabet internet division that contains Google Fiber, will also be cutting jobs in cities where it is still in the exploratory stage and in related areas of supporting operations. There have been multiple reports in the past which suggested that such a decision was in the works. In August, The Information reported, “Last month, Alphabet CEO Larry Page ordered Google Fiber’s chief, Craig Barratt, to halve the size of the Google Fiber team to 500 people, said the second person close to Alphabet.”
These changes have been announced as the company is rethinking and reworking its approach by moving towards “wireless,” which is a faster and cost efficient way to offer to broadband services than fiber cables.