Google today announced that it will temporarily cut back on plans to roll out Google Fiber gigabit internet in 11 U.S. cities.
In additional news, Craig Barrett, chief executive of Access, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet that includes the Fiber initiative, is stepping down. Barrett announced the changes in a blog post.
The “potential Fiber cities” affected are Dallas, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, San Jose, and Tampa.
Barrett said that the number of subscribers and the amount of revenue for Access has been growing. But now Alphabet wants to stay ahead of the curve, hence the changes.
“We have refined our plan going forward to achieve these objectives,” Barrett wrote in the blog post. “It entails us making changes to focus our business and product strategy. Importantly, the plan enhances our focus on new technology and deployment methods to make superfast internet more abundant than it is today.”
Now Google is reducing employees in “certain related areas of our supporting operations” for the cities where the company is currently cutting back.
The adjustments follow Google’s acquisition of Webpass, which is now part of Fiber. Reports have indicated that Google executives see wireless capability from Webpass as an opportunity to expand Fiber while also keeping costs down.
“In Chicago, San Diego, and San Francisco, Google Fiber and Webpass will work together to extend and accelerate deployments via point-to-point wireless,” a Google spokeperson told VentureBeat in an email. “This is great news for residents who can’t wait to get internet speeds up to a Gigabit even sooner.”
Update at 10:11 p.m. Pacific: Added information on Chicago, San Diego, and San Francisco and removed a reference to Chicago.