Nytex

Google halts fibre rollout, plans job cuts 

Internet giant's head of access resigns; company expected to focus on point-to-point wireless tech instead.
Google this week put the brakes on its fibre deployment as it looks to adopt an alternative technology, most likely point-to-point wireless.

Craig Barratt, head of Access and SVP of Google's parent company Alphabet, has stepped down from his day-to-day role, but will stay on as an advisor.

Google Fiber is already available in nine cities, and networks are under construction in a further four. In the eight locations where Google is in exploratory talks to deploy infrastructure, Google is going to "pause our operations and offices while we refine our approaches," said Barratt, in a blog post on Tuesday.

In this handful of cities that are still in an exploratory stage, and in certain related areas of our supporting operations, we'll be reducing our employee base," he said.

"In the cities where we've launched or are under construction, our work will continue," he added.

Rather than roll out fibre in new locations, Google said it plans to focus its broadband rollout "on new technology and deployment methods" instead.

The company did not specify exactly what access tech it plans to focus on, but it is widely-expected to be point-to-point wireless technology.

That's because in June, Alphabet agreed to acquire Webpass, an ISP that operates fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks and point-to-point millimetre wave (mmWave) radio networks, which then connect to in-building Ethernet networks.

Webpass networks are already up and running in select areas of six cities: Boston, Chicago, Miami, Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco.

In the cities where Google's plans have been put on hold, "we're confident we'll have an opportunity to resume our partnership discussions once we've advanced our technologies and solutions," Barratt said.

Source: Total Telecom