Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google Fiber Develops Cold Feet In Portland


Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google is reportedly having second thoughts on the proposed roll out of its super-fast internet service Google Fiber in Portland. The tech giant has been contemplating the launch of the service since 2014 but a string of challenges along the way has all but made it impossible for it to issue a timeline. It has since emerged that the company could scrap the whole project altogether.

Portland Google Fiber Headwinds

Google has reportedly been reluctant to share with Portland officials details of how it plans to roll out Google Fiber in the city. Initially, there were plans to divide areas up for connection, into Fiberhoods. Neighborhoods with the highest number of sign up for the service were to be given the first priority on connections.

Portland is made up of both official and unofficial neighborhoods all of which come with different culture that could have affected connection based on the tech giant proposed plan. Google was initially requested to consider this in coming up with the Fiber hoods but has until now failed to address the matter.

Disagreements on the location of the huts that are to act as maintenance hubs for the service also continue to derail the roll out. Given that, one hub cannot serve more than 12,000 households, means Google will have to build more huts to support the service. The design of the fiber huts also continues to evoke mixed reactions with some complaining that it will hurt the character of their neighborhoods.

Cost factor

Initial estimates suggest that Google may have to spend as much as $300 million for the roll out, something that is making it develop cold feet on the same.  There are already reports that the company is considering cheaper alternatives.

Even though the company appears to be dragging its feet it has already hired local personnel as well as won land-use approval for the fiber network. Early this month Google won a new franchise agreement that gives it the right to operate in the city until 2026.

The ongoing delay, therefore, comes as a surprise to many especially internet surfers who had hoped to gain access into one of the most superfast services in the country.

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