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Google suspends US FTTP broadband roll-out

Google parent Alphabet calls a halt to its roll-out of FTTP broadband in the US as it embarks on a strategic rethink

Google has stopped its roll-out of gigabit fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband in the US, suspending operations and offices while it undergoes a strategic shake-up.

The Google Fiber project, which was set up in 2010 to bring gigabit broadband speeds to US cities, started life in Kansas City and has since expanded to Atlanta, Austin and Charlotte, among others.

However, despite a solid business model and a fast-growing subscriber and revenue base, Google has now taken the decision to make a number of changes to its business and product strategy.

Craig Barratt, senior vice-president at Google parent Alphabet, and CEO of Access, outlined the changes in a blog post.

He said the plan would enhance Google’s focus on new technology and deployment methods to make ultrafast broadband more ubiquitous. As a result of this, he explained, its roll-out would be affected.

“In terms of our existing footprint, in the cities where we’ve launched or are under construction, our work will continue,” said Barratt.

“For most of our potential Fiber cities – those where we’ve been in exploratory discussions – we’re going to pause our operations and offices while we refine our approaches.

“We’re ever grateful to these cities for their ongoing partnership and patience, and we’re confident we’ll have an opportunity to resume our partnership discussions once we’ve advanced our technologies and systems,” he wrote.

He added that there would be job cuts as a result, mostly in potential cities that were still at an exploratory stage – including Dallas, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, Phoenix and Portland – and in some supporting roles.

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Barratt said part of the rationale behind the decision to rethink things came as ultrafast broadband delivery technology more commonplace, implying that Google has seen some revenue pressure in a more competitive marketplace.

At the same time, Barratt also announced he would be stepping aside from the role of CEO. ... .... ... .... .... .... .... .... .... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

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