Google Fiber halts expansion plans as chief steps down

SHARE Google Fiber halts expansion plans as chief steps down
googlefiber102616.jpg

| Getty Images

SAN FRANCISCO — Google’s parent company is halting operations and laying off staff in a number of cities, including Chicago, where it once hoped to bring high-speed internet access by installing new fiber-optic networks.

The company also announced that Craig Barratt, a veteran tech executive who led the ambitious — and expensive — Google Fiber program, is stepping down as CEO of Access, the division of Google corporate parent, Alphabet Inc., that operates the 5-year-old program.

In a statement, Barratt said Google Fiber will continue to provide service in a handful of cities where it’s already operating, including Atlanta; Austin, Texas; and Charlotte, North Carolina.

But it will put further plans on hold in at least eight more metropolitan areas where it’s been holding exploratory talks with local officials. Those include Dallas; Tampa and Jacksonville, Florida; Los Angeles; Oklahoma City; Phoenix; Portland, Oregon; and San Jose, California.

Barratt didn’t say how many jobs will be cut. His statement described the Access business as “solid,” but said it would make “changes to focus our business and product strategy” and incorporate new technology.

A recent report by tech news site The Information said the business was under pressure by Alphabet CEO Larry Page to cut costs after failing to meet financial goals, including a target of signing up 5 million subscribers.

Barratt said he’ll continue to serve as an adviser to Page.

The Latest
A modern blimp requires no pilot, little or no fuel, creates no noise, and can hold multiple cameras capable of independently tracking carjackers and criminals.
Morel hit a two-run homer in the victory against the Reds on Wednesday after Cubs manager David Ross moved him to the bottom of the batting order.
It’s unclear if Griffin will continue his heavy spending in Illinois politics after he and his Citadel hedge fund have packed up and left for Miami. But what was obvious was that his latest big bet on elections in this state was a big failure, up and down the ballot.
Kopech gave up two runs in the first on Mike Trout’s RBI double and his own error covering first base trying to finish a double play, allowing Trout to score. Two more runs on Luis Renfigo’s homer made it 4-0.