Why Google Fiber is 'pausing' work in 11 cities and laying people off

Google Fiber van

Are you one of the lucky few who lives in a city with Google Fiber? 

If so, you might remain in the minority. Google Fiber has announced is "pausing" work in 11 cities, potentially laying off 9% of its workforce and its CEO is stepping aside. But the Alphabet division claims to be going strong. So what is going on?

In IT Blogwatch, the truth races past on "superfast and abundant internet."

What exactly is going on? Brittany A. Roston has the background

Google...just announced that Google Fiber rollout has been paused in the cities it has selected as "potential" markets...for the company to "refine" its plan to meet new objectives it has laid out.
...
The "pause" was announced by Access CEO Craig Barratt, who...will be leaving that role and instead continuing on in an advisory role. According to Barratt, everything is fine at Access..."business is solid" with a quickly growing customer base as well as revenue. Why the changes, then? Fiber is looking to change its objectives in order to "stay ahead of the curve."

What about the layoffs? How many people are getting laid off, and what does that mean for the company? Jon Brodkin has the details:

A source familiar with the company's plans confirmed that nine percent of the Alphabet "Access" division that operates Google Fiber will have their roles eliminated...The source did not say exactly how many employees that percentage represents. Access includes more than...Google Fiber, so the percentage of Google Fiber employees being laid off or reassigned is probably a little higher.
...
Google Fiber...has not hit its subscriber goals, and fiber construction is...costly...While the company isn't giving up on fiber...it may be able to deploy internet service at a lower cost using wireless technology.

Using wireless technology? Is that what they mean by "staying ahead of the curve"? John Ribeiro thinks he knows:

Google Fiber had...seen opportunities for making the internet available to consumers through wireless technologies. It said in June...it was acquiring internet service provider Webpass to be able to increase its urban coverage quickly and offer customers a combination of fiber and wireless delivery of high-speed internet.
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In April, Google Fiber obtained approval to test internet delivery on 3.5GHz spectrum in...Kansas City that could result in fast, short-range wireless connections to serve areas not reached by Google Fiber.

So what cities are going to be affected by this changing approach? Justin Diaz fills us in:

The areas...that are having the operations put on hold...includes the cities that were labeled by Google as “potential” locations on their Google Fiber map, which are Portland, Chicago, Louisville, Dallas, Phoenix, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Oklahoma City, and Tampa.
...
Google does have four other cities...which don’t currently have Fiber set up, but...are upcoming Fiber cities so Google is still committed to getting Fiber up and running in these areas. This includes Irvine, San Francisco, San Antonio, and Huntsville.

So what exactly did the blog post by Google Fiber say that broke this news? Pinboard sums it up for us:

“Google Fiber has been such an amazing, roaring success that we’re stopping all work and also I quit.”
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