Google Fiber is ‘pausing’ or terminating its Gigabit fibre-optic rollout plan in ten cities where it has not yet fully committed to building networks, Craig Barratt, SVP of Alphabet and CEO of Access, has revealed in an official blog post, titled ‘Advancing Our Amazing Bet’. The executive confirmed: ‘In terms of our existing footprint, in the cities where we’ve launched or are under construction, our work will continue. For most of our ‘potential Fiber cities’ – those where we’ve been in exploratory discussions – we’re going to pause our operations and offices while we refine our approaches. 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.’ Following the decision, Barratt will step down from his post but remain available in an advisory capacity. In addition to the curtailed fibre plans, it has been widely reported that Google Fiber is laying off – or reassigning – about 9% of its staff.
In recent months industry insiders have speculated that Google Fiber’s long term fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) plans faced an uncertain future. The speculation intensified following the company’s recent acquisition of Webpass, a San Francisco-based ISP that uses point-to-point wireless technology to deliver Gigabit download speeds. Webpass, which was founded in 2003, currently operates in the major urban markets of San Francisco, Oakland, San Diego, Miami, Chicago and Boston, as well as the smaller markets of Emeryville, Berkeley, Miami Beach and Coral Gables.