Residents question Google Fiber's future in Kansas City area after installations canceled

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - When Larry Meurer first learned Google Fiber might be coming to his Olathe neighborhood, he was one of the first neighbors to sign up for the high-speed service. 

As a former IT specialist, everything about Google Fiber appealed to him. He and his wife even displayed the Google Fiber rabbit in front of their home. 

"About April, May, I saw sometimes as many as four to five Fiber trucks in the neighborhood. I kept watching my email but never got anything in the mail to schedule my appointment or anything,” Muerer told 41 Action News. 

That was back in October 2015. 

Eighteen months later, Meurer still doesn’t have Google Fiber. He recently received an email saying the company had canceled his installation. 

"I’m left wondering what is going on,” said Meurer. 

He’s not alone. 

41 Action News spoke to several people, living in different parts of the metro, all who have recently received cancellation emails. 

The emails do not provide a specific reason for the cancellations. Instead they say the company was “unable to build our network to connect your home or business at this time.” 

In October 2016, Google Fiber announced it was stopping expansion plans in several cities across the country. The company also cut several jobs and its CEO stepped down. During this time, a spokesperson for Google Fiber told 41 Action News Kansas City would not be among the cities impacted.

Today, the company insists it is still “committed to Kansas City.” 

Google Fiber said it’s currently experimenting with new techniques. The company, for example, just acquired a wireless ISP, which offers high-speed wireless Internet. And in order to focus on those new deployment models, the company said it is being consistent with its strategy and slowing construction in some areas.  

Google Fiber would not confirm the number of installations that have been canceled in the metro. 

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Ariel Rothfield can be reached at Ariel.Rothfield@KSHB.com.

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