In Brief
  • The service is fully operational in 8 cities and under construction in a few more, infrastructure cost is proving a difficult barrier to overcome.
  • This likely is not the death knell of the ultra fast service and may pick up again as different deployment methods are discovered.

Fiber’s (Not) Coming

Google’s super fast internet slows down to a halt, at least in terms of growing its infrastructure, that is. With announcements of job layoffs just last week, Google is taking a step back on its promise to bring its Fiber service to new cities like Los Angeles, Dallas, and Portland, including several others listed a part of the future of Fiber communities.

“In terms of our existing footprint, in the cities where we’ve launched or are under construction, our work will continue,” writes Alphabet SVP and Fiber project head Craig Barratt in their official blog. Admittedly, the fiber optic internet business is not cheap and requires plenty of prior groundwork (literally) before the service can be up. Amidst the halt and news of job cuts, Barratt is also stepping down.

Google Fiber boasts internet speeds of up to one gigabit per second (1,000 Mb/s), and is among the fastest available internet services in the US — albeit with limited availability, which just got even more limited.

Credits: Google Fiber/Arstechnica
Credits: Google Fiber/Ars Technica

Cost Barriers

While we do live in a time when technology advances rather quickly, new infrastructure development remains to be quite pricey. Some of the biggest names in tech look forward to democratizing new technologies, but significant cost often needs to go in upfront before the public can reap the benefits.

“No matter how much people wish Google would come in like Batman and save the day for them, Google is in it for their own goals,” Roger Entner of Recon Analytics tweeted last Wednesday.

Barratt put it quite nicely: “Now, just as any competitive business must, we have to continue not only to grow, but also stay ahead of the curve — pushing the boundaries of technology, business, and policy — to remain a leader in delivering [super fast] Internet.”

Until such time that technology can be supported better in terms of business strategy and overall government policy, it would remain expensive. That’s a hurdle we have to overcome, as equally important as any major technological development.