Google Fiber Head Departs, What Will Google Fiber Do?

There are at least a couple conclusions one might draw from new developments at Google Fiber. Some suggest Alphabet has given up on Google Fiber. Others argue, based on Google Fiber’s own statements and actions, that it instead is looking at business models that include  fixed wireless.

As Google Fiber has been saying, as it “paused” the extension of Google Fiber to new cities, the organization is looking at “new technology and deployment methods.”

It seems clear enough that actual uptake of Google Fiber was less than Google Fiber, and many other outside observers, expected to see. So given the cost of fiber to the home, a look at alternate access platforms would make sense, at a time when a number other leading entities, including AT&T and Verizon, plus Facebook, have signaled they are actively researching the use of such technologies.

It remains possible that even the new fixed wireless business models and deployment methods will not work to Google Fiber's satisfaction.

But it might be fair to suggest Google Fiber has learned one important lesson. In competitive local access markets, when market share can top out below 20 percent to 40 percent, the business model is extremely difficult, and might not often support three sustainable, facilities-based providers.
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