Google Fiber intends to offer its high-speed internet service to various cities in Colorado, Arizona, Nebraska, Idaho, and Nevada over the next several years in its first big expansion since it spun out as an independent Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) unit in 2015.
In his first media interview since taking over as chief executive of Fiber in February 2018, Dinni Jain told reporters on August 10 that his team was finally ready to “add a little bit more build velocity” after more than four years of honing operations.
The predicted expansion to 22 metro areas across the United States from 17 today comprises formerly declared projects to start in Arizona, Mesa, and Colorado Springs, Colorado. The choices were derived the company’s findings of where speed lags.
“There was an impression 10 years ago that Google Fiber was trying to build the entire country. What we are gesturing here is, ‘No, we are not trying to build the entire country.'”
Jain refused to comment on Fiber’s fundraising plans or financial results.
Some other Alphabet subsidiaries have obtained outside funding to separately validate their value, been subsumed by other entities or closed down. Fiber could encounter similar choices as the expansion takes place over the next three to five years.
The growth plan happens as Alphabet and other companies reduce hiring and close some fringe projects as fears about a global recession mount.
“The intent is to build businesses that will be successful in and of their own right and that is what we are trying to do at Google Fiber for sure.”
He mentioned that the company could not depend on reach into “a rich parent’s wallet.”
Google started competing against internet service stalwarts such as AT&T Inc (T.N) and Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) in 2010 with co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page announcing they were sick of waiting on Congress to steer the industry toward faster speeds at cheaper costs.
The project succeeded. Rivals struggled to match Google Fiber’s gigabit per second offerings in initial launch sites such as Texas, Austin, and even in Los Angeles and other areas under consideration.
“We were so paranoid,” Jain said of his previous position as Time Warner Cable’s chief operating officer.
However, Google in 2015 separated its core operations from other bets such as Fiber, anti-aging solutions, and delivery drones. Page and Brin also gave up some oversight. Fiber had to trim its hundreds of millions of dollars in annual losses, which had moved toward construction, trying out new ways to ground fiberoptic cables and funding some service.
While Wall Street encouraged transparency and cost controls, Fiber over the last few years considerably reduced expansion to Iowa, West Des Moines and within existing metropolitan areas. Jain sharpened processes and abandoned failed ideas aiming to save time like taping cables to sidewalks.
In 2021, it did more construction than the previous few years combined. Jain highlighted:
“We’ve had to go from spirit and culture of tremendous innovation to one of operational excellence.”
Fiber retains some edge in its view. Covering trenches less deep compared to others should save time, while simplifying prices and setup restrict help calls from customers should suppress costs.
He also said that customers made contact with Fiber a third less than what he noticed at similar companies, and he termed sign-ups as “very healthy” and greater than what he had expected before joining.
Fiber will proceed to seek wireless service, through its Webpass brand, for multi-unit buildings, Jain added. In several cases, it will lease local fiber networks from other providers.