Is Google Fiber struggling? The rollout of high speed Gigabit internet has been slower than expected and the company has cut back on the markets where it’s installing. In October, it scrapped plans to expand into 8 markets. It’s been hampered by both the cost and time it takes to deploy, while competitors in impending markets have beefed up speeds to compete – in some cases, before Google was ready to launch.
Google Fiber’s been running without a CEO since George McCray resigned in July after just 5 months at the helm. “We are committed to the success of Google Fiber,” said Alphabet CEO Larry Page via Bloomberg Technology.
Google Fiber is changing its strategy. In Huntsville, Alabama, it didn’t build out the the fiber. It’s leasing it from the public utility. Cable competitors beat them to the punch by offering high speed, including Gigabit service. It’s also developing wireless delivery options.
The service itself is changing, too. To date, rollouts have included a small television package to compete with cable and satellite. That’s no longer part of the deal. In both Louisville and San Antonio, TV won’t be part of the package.
“More and more people are moving away from traditional methods of viewing television content,” Google Fiber announced in a blog post. “Customers today want to control what, where, when, and how they get content. They want to do it their way, and we want to help them.”
Google Fiber cites increased TV packages through YouTube and over-the-top services like Hulu and Netflix as a reason to focus on internet delivery and abandon plans to further television packages.
For markets with Google Fiber already, the company says it will continue to offer television as an add-on.