Google Fiber announced more than a year ago that it was exploring ways to bring its super-speedy internet service to San Jose, California.
Now, months after city officials approved the major construction needed to make it happen, the subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet is hesitating.
According to a report Tuesday in the San Jose Mercury News, officials with Google Fiber informed at least two cities in the Silicon Valley region that they're putting the rollout on hold to explore cheaper alternatives. Those alternatives likely include a stronger focus on aerial installation, especially coming after Google Fiber's purchase of the point-to-point internet service provider Webpass in June. Webpass uses a combination of rooftop wireless networks connected to high-speed fiber connections, and promises to deliver speeds of up to 1 gigbit per second, all at a fraction of the time and cost commitment that comes with building a traditional fiber-based network. Webpass serves business clients in cities like San Francisco and New York.
Google Fiber is already up and running in seven US cities, with several more listed as "upcoming" or "potential" expansion sites. San Jose area officials said that Google has assured them that the company remains committed to the deployment, the Mercury News reported, though the delay could push back rollout at least six months.
"We're continuing to work with city leaders to explore the possibility of bringing Google Fiber to the South Bay area," a Google spokesperson told CNET. "This means deploying the latest technologies in alignment with our product roadmap, while understanding local considerations and challenges, which takes time. The cities of San Jose, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale have been great partners and we're thankful for the hard work that city leaders continue to do along the way."