Sign up to receive 5 free days of our daily summary for tech news.

Read this article for free.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Google

Inside the Battle Over Google Fiber

When Google was planning to launch its Fiber broadband and TV service, Fiber executives had ambitious hopes of signing up around 5 million subscribers in five years, said a person close to Google's parent, Alphabet. But by the end of 2014, more than two years after service began, Google had only signed up around 200,000 broadband subscribers, said a former employee. The current number isn’t known, but it’s still well short of initial expectations, said another person close to Alphabet.

Now the company is rethinking its approach by shifting service to wireless, as has been widely reported. Wireless is a much cheaper way to offer broadband service than digging up streets to lay fiber cables in cities across America.

But that’s only part of the story. Last month, Alphabet CEO Larry Page ordered Google Fiber’s chief, Craig Barratt, to halve the size of the Google Fiber team to 500 people, said the second person close to Alphabet. (The Google Fiber unit is now known as Access.)

What Is The Information?

Notes bb3aa5069205d702dda37fc71dc6f1c59df2310c4379304e9f1199f052af4884

Exclusive Articles

Receive original reporting about the most important tech companies, from Apple to Uber, in your inbox or online.

Notebook b5103017ee163370a1667c9ce59ab0ef023875a17888105d26c185cadf31bb69

Daily news analysis

Every weeknight, we'll send you our reporters’ views on the day’s top tech news—distilled into one email.

Conference calls c9e664e8b96ee347d3e92b8309938f268422b9db98cfabca5c826fbb75054b23

Conference calls

Go deep into areas like crypto and VC diversity—or get real-time analysis of breaking news—via conference calls with our reporters and other experts.

Events 499acedd16cffc41445edd76bfd302b2836c2a27419890f17130a6b10e2aa3df

Special Events

For no extra fee, subscribers get access to dozens of events a year, from intimate dinners to larger gatherings with marquee speakers.

Access the best reporting on the tech industry read by tens of thousands of global executives.

Become a contributor

Share your views and find other subscribers by completing your profile. You’ll be listed in our contributor directory.

Org Charts

Access the only collection of tech company org charts. Our expanding database includes companies like Amazon, Snap, and Uber.

Slack community

Discuss topics and current events with our subscriber-only Slack group and share news about your company with other subscribers.

Share with your team

Subscribers can unlock any article and share it with friends and co-workers through a special share link.

Stay up to date on Silicon Valley

Sign up for Jessica Lessin’s (The Information’s CEO & Founder) free Saturday newsletter and also receive a complimentary week of our daily afternoon tech commentary email.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Recent Articles

Entertainment

Why Snap Should Tap Apple or Tencent for Cash

By Tom Dotan

Media Entertainment

Why Hulu’s Heavy Losses Pose Question for Disney and Comcast

By Tom Dotan

Autonomous Vehicles Uber/Lyft

Autonomous Vehicles Should Be Built From Scratch, Says Zoox CEO

By Priya Anand

Autonomous Vehicles Google Apple

Apple Ramps Up Self-Driving Car Program With Waymo Hire

By Amir Efrati and Jessica E. Lessin

“The Fiber group is on a pretty tight leash and getting a lot of feedback that they should solve the problems with technology.”