Alphabet’s Google Fiber bailing on Atlanta?

As reported in many news sites like here, here & here, It appears that economics have caught up with Alphabet’s Google Fiber product.  The short version is that Alphabet (Google’s spin off to own Google Fiber) has accepted the resignation of its Access CEO as they have realized the enormous cost and poor payback to their fiber play.

Google Fiber announced that it would bring high speed fiber based Internet to Atlanta a couple of years ago, but since then, things have been noticeably quiet.  Some huts have been placed and a couple of apartment complexes have been fibered up, but no new fiber in subdivisions.  There are some very valid reasons for the footdragging.  It costs around $15 per foot to install fiber underground in non congested areas.  Hanging fiber on the poles is far cheaper, but most poles require moving the existing services (phone & cable) to make room for fiber.  Both the phone company and the cable company resist that effort which leads to legal battles like Comcast/Nashville and ATT/Charter/Louisville.

Alphabet is apparently refocusing on wireless due to the far lower cost of deployment.  But wireless will never be as fast, secure or reliable as fiber best site.  So that’s bad news for Atlanta Internet users.  There is some good news, however…

Due to the fear of Google Fiber competing, ATT has been installing fiber in various Atlanta suburbs for over a year.  The ATT product is essentially the same as Google’s and competes well against Comcast.  ATT knows that once a neighborhood receives fiber from one provider, there will never be another since it costs too much to install the fiber just to split the market three ways.

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