Google Fiber isn’t dead, it’s expanding

Google Fiber, the Alphabet division centered on providing high-speed web entry within the US, has formidable plans to broaden its fiber companies within the subsequent three to 5 years, the corporate introduced in a weblog submit. It desires to launch fiber companies in 5 new states, which embody beforehand introduced plans to enter Arizona and Colorado, in addition to Nebraska, Nevada, and Idaho. In complete, Reuters stories that Google Fiber hopes to broaden to 22 metro areas, from 17 at this time.

It’s an enormous turnaround from 2016, when the enterprise reportedly layed off 9 p.c of its workforce and paused plans to launch companies in over half a dozen cities. In subsequent years, stories emerged that the corporate was canceling a whole lot of installations in present metro areas like Kansas Metropolis, and left Louisville, Kentucky solely after an ill-fated experiment with laying fiber cabling in ultra-shallow trenches.

Now, nonetheless, it appears the corporate is able to develop, with its CEO Dinni Jain telling Reuters that the workforce is able to “add a bit bit extra construct velocity.” Its launch in West Des Moines, Iowa in March was its first new state in 5 years, and the next month it stated it might be increasing to Des Moines. Reuters notes that Google Fiber did extra constructing in 2021 than in “the last few years mixed.”

Regardless of his hopes to regain momentum, Jain says Google Fiber’s ambitions are modest. “There was an impression 10 years in the past that Google Fiber was making an attempt to construct all the nation,” he informed Reuters. “What we’re gesturing right here is, ‘No, we’re not making an attempt to construct all the nation.’” In addition to increasing into the brand new states, Jain’s weblog submit says enlargement will proceed in present metro areas.

Google Fiber dates again to 2010, and was initially launched to hep drive the adoption of sooner web speeds at decrease value, partly by providing it immediately, and partly by pressuring incumbent US suppliers to compete. As a former Time Warner government, Jain says he felt the stress from Google immediately. “We had been so paranoid,” he tells Reuters.

Information of Google Fiber’s enlargement plans comes at a time of belt-tightening at Google and throughout the tech trade extra usually. Final month the corporate introduced a two-week hiring freeze whereas it reviewed its headcount wants, making it the newest tech large to take inventory amidst a worsening financial local weather. Alphabet has additionally been extra keen to shutter experimental initiatives lately. It shut down its balloon web service Loon final 12 months, and wound down its power kite division in 2020.

“The intent is to construct companies that might be profitable in and of their very own proper and that’s what we are attempting to do at Google Fiber for positive,” Jain tells Reuters.