Google Fiber, the super-fast fiber-optic internet service first announced in 2010, has “paused” operations in 10 cities where it is not already committed and cut its staff, the company announced in a blog post Tuesday.
The 10 “potential” Google Fiber cities in which operations have been stopped are: Chicago; Dallas; Jacksonville, Florida; Los Angeles; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Phoenix; Portland, Oregon; San Diego; San Jose, California; and Tampa, Florida.
The Alphabet-owned company will, however, continue to provide service in eight cities where the fiber-optic internet is already installed: Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Kansas City in Missouri and Kansas; Nashville, Tennessee; Provo, Utah; Salt Lake City; and the Research Triangle in North Carolina.
CEO Criag Barratt is also stepping down from his post. According to Ars Technica, 9 percent of Google Fiber employees will be laid off. The site adds that Google Fiber’s plans to build in Huntsville, Alabama; Irvine, California; San Antonio; and Louisville, Kentucky will proceed.
In the peppy blog post titled “Advancing our amazing bet,” Barratt promises that this is not the end of Google Fiber, saying it must “continue not only to grow, but also stay ahead of the curve.” He wrote:
We have refined our plan going forward to achieve these objectives. 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.
Google Fiber launched five years ago in Kansas City. In 2013, Farhad Manjoo wrote in Slate that the powerful residential internet connection was awesome, but ultimately unnecessary:
During my time in Kansas City, I spoke to several local businesspeople, aspiring startup founders, and a few city boosters. They were all thrilled that Google had come to town, and the few who’d gotten access to the Google pipe said they really loved it. But I couldn’t find a single person who’d found a way to use Google Fiber to anywhere near its potential—or even a half or quarter of what it can do. It was even difficult to find people who could fully utilize Google Fiber in their imaginations. As hard as people tried, few could even think up ways to do something truly amazing with the world’s fastest Internet.