If you’re waiting for your city to be added to the list to get Google Fiber, you may want to stop holding your breath. A new report suggests that Alphabet is seriously cutting into Google Fiber’s budget, leading to potential layoffs and pausing a nation-wide rollout for the time being.
Google Fiber is great, but it’s expensive. Not for the customer, mind you, but for the company that’s actually setting up the fiber network. It cost around $1 billion to get things rolling in Kansas City, and even for Google, that’s not chump change.
With that in mind, these budget cuts make plenty of sense for Alphabet. It’s not feasible to continue to throw money at this project that has no chance of ever breaking even, so pausing things until a suitable alternative is found is a smart financial move. Alphabet has already tried buying up smaller internet companies and investing in things like gigabit WiFi, both of which are much more cost effective than pouring a billion dollars into every city you want to launch in.
Google Fiber is still expected to expand into five new cities, bringing the total to twelve across the US. After that, things are up in the air, and it’s completely up to Alphabet how that’s going to proceed. Some of the higher-ups at Alphabet want to reign things in, while some think the costs for building this out are completely justified. However it pans out, it’s sure to take a different approach than what we’ve seen over the past few years.