Google Fiber workforce slashed, prospective rollouts "paused" in multiple cities

Back in 2012, Google finally started building out its experimental 1Gbps internet service in Kansas City, subsequent to delays experienced after the initial announcement of Google Fiber back in March 2011. Since then, Google Fiber has been deployed to another seven metropolitan areas and remains committed to delivering its service to another four, which include Huntsville, Alabama; Irvine, California; San Antonio, Texas; and Louisville, Kentucky.

Now, it has come to light that approximately 9% of staff residing within the Access division of Alphabet, will either be laid off or redeployed, according to a source familiar with the company's plans. With a reported total of 1,500 employees within the division, which includes Google Fiber, this would equate to a reduction of around 130 staff. However, it remains unclear as to how many of these roles would be cut specifically from Google Fiber.

The news coincides with Craig Barratt stepping down as CEO of Access. While an immediate replacement has not been announced, Barratt noted on the Google Fiber blog that:

"... I’ve decided this is the right juncture to step aside from my CEO role. Larry has asked me to continue as an advisor, so I’ll still be around."

Unfortunately, for prospective Google Fiber customers, the rollout to eleven cities earmarked as 'potential' or 'upcoming' has been placed in doubt, as the company 'pauses' operations to reassess its plans. The affected cities include:

  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Portland, Oregon
  • San Diego, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • San Jose, California
  • Tampa, Florida

Already, Chicago, San Francisco, and San Diego have been excluded from receiving fiber. However, given the acquisition of Webpass earlier this month, prospective customers in these areas will still have the option to connect to Google Fiber, albeit using a wireless connection.

Source: Bloomberg via Ars Technica

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