Google has put on hold its plans to roll out Gigabit internet services in at least two cities in California. Reports indicate that the company may be exploring cheaper wireless options instead of building out a fiber network that would otherwise cost significantly higher than the cost to provide high-speed wireless internet, now that its parent, Alphabet Inc., has acquired fixed wireless provider Webpass. If reports in the local media in San Jose is anything to go by, the company may be considering giving up on its plans to build out a high-speed fiber optic network in favor of wireless connectivity, which would be both cheaper and more convenient in high-population urban areas like San Jose and San Francisco.
Meanwhile, even as Google is having second thoughts about its Gigabit internet plans, AT&T is all set to bring its GigaPower internet service to a number of areas in California, including San Francisco, San Jose, San Ramon, Santa Clara, Dublin and Mountain View. However, the telecom operator is apparently not too happy with the idea of having to compete with Google for Gigabit internet customers. The company, along with Comcast, have been doing everything in their power to stop the search giant from using the utility poles, which would have cost Google a lot less than having to dig up sidewalks and roads to lay its fiber optic cables.
Meanwhile, the latest developments have surprised civic officials, who’ve been in talks with Google all this while about the company’s grand plans of bringing super high-speed internet to their cities. Local leaders in San Jose, however, continue to put up a brave face, and even released an official statement, saying that they remain “very optimistic” about Google’s high-speed internet service eventually coming to the city. Google, on its part, have asserted that it will continue to have discussions with these cities before it can definitively announce its future plans. That’s according to an official statement issued by Google spokesperson, Ms. Veronica Navarrete, who added that whatever Google decides to do in the end, it will do so “while understanding local considerations and challenges”.