In an announcement made today, Webpass shared that Google Fiber has entered into an agreement to acquire the high speed Internet service provider. The addition of Webpass to the Google Fiber portfolio will open up some new markets, new technology, and potentially a new class of customer for the company.
Webpass indicates they have “tens of thousands” of customers in five primary markets where they operate. Two of these markets will be new to the Google Fiber footprint – Miami and Boston. Webpass also operates in Chicago, San Diego and San Francisco overlapping on locations where Google Fiber already plans to expand.
On top of the new markets this will open up for Google Fiber, Webpass will also bring wireless broadband Internet service into the fold. Thus far Google Fiber has primarily focused on the “Fiber” part of its name in laying fiber down in new markets in order to provide high speed service measured in the Gigabit per second range. The Webpass technology may let Google get around the cost of that fiber deployment if it can deliver similar speeds and reliability wirelessly.
Webpass also has a customer portfolio that is attractive to Google Fiber. This includes large apartment building locations and a decent number of commercial customers. Google Fiber primarily targets residential consumers, but they have faced significant challenges in getting into multi-family housing locations. That is because companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable frequently have multi-year deals in place with those apartment complexes that prevent Google Fiber from entering – at least via physical pipes. Google Fiber has also been trying to expand their customer base to commercial businesses as well, so the Webpass acquisition fits nicely with that effort.
The financial terms of the deal have not been revealed. However, Webpass indicates they do expect the transaction to close this summer subject to regulatory approvals and the customary closing conditions.