- Google announced plans to "pause" its operations in potential Google Fiber cities until further notice.
- The announcement was made in a company blog from Craig Barratt, CEO of Google's Access group, who said he plans to step down from his role as CEO, but will remain as an advisor.
- Google confirmed it will also reduce its employee base in potential Fiber cities. A CNN source said 9% of Google Fiber staff could be affected, which equates to more than 100 employees.
Google is not ending the program to bring Fiber to cities forever, but plans to step back to "refine" its approaches, even though "business is solid: our subscriber base and revenue are growing quickly, and we expect that growth to continue," Barratt said.
The company, instead, wants to enhance its "focus on new technology and deployment methods to make superfast internet more abundant than it is today." Some of its existing efforts will remain unchanged, including efforts in cities where Fiber installation is already under way.
Building out Fiber networks is incredibly expensive because it requires disrupting underlying infrastructure in participating cities. The company has also come under fire from incumbent telecom providers, which have attempted to make it difficult for Google to access city utility poles. Last month, AT&T sued Nashville in U.S. District Court in an attempt to slow deployment of Google fiber in the city. Other cities, including Louisville, have made similar moves.