Home / Internet News / Google Fiber's secret weapon in its gigabit comeback has failed – CNET

Google Fiber's secret weapon in its gigabit comeback has failed – CNET

Google’s trick to extra abruptly and affordably deploy its super-speedy Google Fiber venture has hit a wall, throwing a wrench into its broader try to get its gigabit carrier again on target around the country.

The web titan had pinned its hopes on an experiment known as “shallow trenching,” which enabled it to deploy gigabit internet in Louisville in just five months and vastly outpace rival AT&T Fiber. However a Google Fiber spokesperson stated issues of the method will power Google Fiber to stop operations in Louisville. Google plans to tell consumers Thursday that their carrier will finish on April 15 and publicly announce the shutdown in a blog post.

It is a huge setback for Google Fiber, which “paused” operations in October 2016 however rolled out in Louisville and San Antonio in 2017 as section a quiet Google Fiber 2.0 comeback, the usage of innovative ways to regulate prices and outflank conventional telecoms. The carrier used to be meant to be a speedier, less expensive selection in your usual cable or telephone corporate, however Google encountered the similar downside as everybody else: the insane prices of laying down bodily fiber traces.

Within the different 10 metropolitan spaces the place Google Fiber remains to be running — Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Huntsville, Alabama; Kansas Town, Missouri; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Orange County, California; Salt Lake Town/Provo, Utah; and San Antonio — it is going to proceed to place extra fiber within the flooring and enroll new consumers. A Google Fiber spokesperson additionally advised CNET that it is going to be told from the failure in Louisville and strengthen its deployments in different towns.


Google Fiber installers laid fiber the usage of “shallow trenching” in Louisville.

Jason Hiner/CBS Interactive

The Google Fiber workforce cited the experimental building strategies utilized in Louisville as the explanation in the back of the failure. That deployment method, particularly known as “nanotrenching,” enabled Google Fiber to deploy fiber a lot sooner and less expensive.

The development crews for Google Fiber in Louisville have been digging trenches most effective two inches deep at the edges of roads, laying the fiber cables after which filling within the trench with a rubbery liquid that might solidify when it dried.

Inside a number of months, some of the fiber cables started popping out of the trenches and have been laying uncovered within the streets. In different towns, comparable to San Antonio, Google Fiber has switched to “microtrenching,” which makes use of a identical method however is going no less than six inches deep. The Google Fiber rollout will continue in San Antonio.


An instance of the “nanotrenching” method Google Fiber installers utilized in Louisville.

Jason Hiner/CBS Interactive

It must be famous that AT&T has been the usage of quite a lot of kinds of shallow trenching since 2009 and hasn’t observed identical problems. Google Fiber’s construct high quality and customer support additionally were given known as into query when plenty of Kansas City customers lost service for over a week all the way through a January snow hurricane.

The Google Fiber workforce indicated that it did not have any plans to proceed operations in Louisville, as it must rebuild its complete Louisville community from scratch to convey it as much as the similar usual of carrier of its different gigabit towns.

When Google Fiber notifies its Louisville consumers Thursday that their carrier can be shutting down in a few months, it is going to allow them to know they would possibly not be billed for the overall two months of carrier. Regardless that that is a good gesture, it may well be little comfort to customers who have been delighted to get the improve to an web connection that includes each add and obtain speeds that may achieve as much as 1 gigabit consistent with 2d — a ways sooner and extra constant than the cable and DSL connections maximum customers must return to.

AT&T Fiber operates in probably the most identical neighborhoods the place Google Fiber deployed in Louisville, so it’ll supply a related selection for some consumers. An AT&T spokesperson showed that AT&T Fiber will proceed to amplify its community in Louisville. AT&T additionally famous that during past due 2018 Louisville used to be some of the first 12 towns the place the company deployed its 5G network with mobile hotspots, which is able to rival probably the most lower-speed fiber connections.

When Google Fiber is going right into a town, it in most cases spurs competition from other internet providers to extend their connection speeds and supply higher customer support. That is been the case in Louisville, the place AT&T and Spectrum have stepped up and presented their very own kinds of gigabit carrier, although AT&T fees extra for its model and Spectrum’s carrier options a lot decrease add speeds.

With nanotrenching off the desk for Google Fiber, it’ll need to play the lengthy recreation extra like a conventional telecom supplier. Firms like AT&T take a far slower, extra measured way in rolling out new networks. Then again, AT&T thinks of fiber as an funding with a 100-year go back.

Jason Hiner/CBS Interactive

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