Full-Speed-Ahead Google Fiber Comes to a Halt

The Google Fiber project launched in Kansas City in July 2012, today has come to a halt.

The ambitious project that targeted a few dozen cities across the U.S. with upload and download speeds of 1Gbps – 100 times faster than competing providers at the time, according to Google – has been “refined,” meaning that Internet service yet to get underway is on pause. Cities where Google Fiber has already launched or where construction is underway will continue, according to the company.

Google's Craig BarrattCities where a potential Google Fiber project was planned and is now halted, include: Dallas; Jacksonville and Tampa, Florida; Los Angeles and San Jose, including Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Palo Alto, California; Oklahoma City; Phoenix, including Scottsdale and Tempe, Arizona; and Portland, including Beaverton, Gresham, Tigard, Hillsboro and Lake Oswego, Oregon.

The Google Fiber news was shared late Tuesday in a blog by Craig Barratt, senior vice president of Alphabet and CEO of Access — who left his position but was asked by Larry Page, Google co-founder, to continue on as an adviser.

About 9 percent of Google Fiber staff, or about 130 employees, also are being let go, according to Bloomberg.

While reports of turmoil at Google Fiber lit up the news, the former CEO did note that Google is refining its plans to deliver superfast Internet. Earlier this month, the company welcomed Webpass, an acquisition that was announced in June. Webpass reported having tens of thousands of customers across five major markets in the U.S. and the continued goal of deploying high-speed Internet connections for residential and commercial buildings, primarily using point-to-point wireless.{ad}

Google noted particular interest in the Webpass point-to-point wireless deployment methodology, at that time.

“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. Residents simply plug their device or router into the data jack Webpass installs in their unit, and they’re good to go, browsing with speeds reaching up to a gig,” said Dennis Kish, president, Google Fiber.

Google Fiber was touted as service for residential, small business and property managers, with three plans – Fiber Business 1000, Fiber Business 250 and Fiber Business 100 – offered to small business customers.

Google Fiber was building a partner network to help grow its small business customer base.

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