Data Centre


Google yanks workers from ISP outfit, it's THE FIBER COUNTDOWN

Will things ever be the same again?

By Shaun Nichols in San Francisco


Google is once again pulling resources out of its Fiber network venture – this time it's employees.

The Mountain View advertising broker told us it is indeed moving a number of employees from Access, the branch of parent company Alphabet that handles Fiber. The workers are not being laid off, but rather are going to take jobs at other parts of the sprawling organization, we're told.

Overseeing the slimmed-down Access and Fiber will be telco industry veteran Greg McCray, who takes over the CEO role that has sat vacant since last October when Craig Barrett stepped down from the job.

"Google Fiber has been instrumental making the web faster and better for everyone — something I’ve been passionate about my entire career," McCray said. "I’m thrilled to lead Access as we continue in our mission to connect more people to abundant access, on networks that are always fast and always open."

The Chocolate Factory insists this reassignment of staff not a sign it is further pulling back on its ISP ambitions. At one point, Google wanted to build a brand new fiber service in the US. Now it's looking at cheaper and less ambitious ways of piping connectivity to them. For example, Google just gobbled up Webpass, which sets up building-to-building microwave networks to provide broadband. This avoids having to dig up streets, run cables everywhere, and so on.

In other words, it's totally not giving up. It's just frozen its fiber expansion plans, moved staff, and now mulling providing wireless broadband. Who would have thought that building and maintaining underground fiber networks in America would be difficult and expensive?

"Google Fiber remains committed to our customers and cities. We want to bring Google Fiber to customers faster, so we’re focused on making deployment more efficient and less intrusive," a Google spokesperson told El Reg. "We’re thrilled that Greg has agreed to join as CEO, to drive this innovation and to grow the business."

In the meantime, US telcos will no doubt once again claim the move as a win for the established broadband players who have long seen Google as a nuisance to their own fiber networks and a potential threat to healthy profit margins in many major cities. ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily


More from The Register

European fibre lobby calls for end to fake fibre broadband ads

If you think you have a full-fibre connection, you probably don't

Vodafone signs deal with CityFibre to connect 5 million homes with full fibre

Project up to eight years with broadband minnow

Vodafone, TPG propose 'merger of equals'

One is more equal than the other, but deal makes sense as NBN rollout continues

Project Lightning, you say? Virgin Media's fibre rollout is pretty glacial

Meanwhile, corporate daddy Liberty Global flogs European assets to Vodafone for €18.4bn

Brit mobile phone users want the Moon on a stick but then stay on same networks for aeons

How does that work?

We definitely don't need more towers, says new Vodafone boss scraping around for €8bn savings

Steady as she goes with 5G

Vodafone sues Ofcom to reclaim 'overpaid' mobe spectrum fees

EE set it up, now Voda's shooting for goal

Vodafone drank Facebook's network Kool-Aid … and LIVED!

White boxes, multi-coloured light, 800 Gbps and backhoe-proofing, thanks in part to Zuck

Mobile networks are killing Wi-Fi for speed around the world

And that means smartphones will need to get smarter

Big cable trolls big mobile with '10G' trademark application

CES 2019 It stands for 10 gigabits per second connections, so at least it means something