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Google Fiber to pull plug on expansion but metro will remain unaffected

Posted at 7:36 PM, Oct 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-26 20:37:25-04

Despite pulling the plug on plans to possibly expand to 11 other cities, Google Fiber has recommitted to bringing its high-speed internet services to Kansas City.

A spokeswoman for the company confirmed to 41 Action News that Kansas City is not among the cities impacted by the company’s recent announcement.

Google Fiber plans to continue its rollout into cities where it has launched or is under construction, such as Overland Park and Raymore, but plans to “pause operations” at cities where construction has not yet begun. Those cities include: Dallas, Chicago, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Portland, San Jose, San Diego and Tampa.

The company announced its plans to halt expansion on Tuesday as Craig Barratt, senior vice president of Alphabet (the parent company of Google Fiber) announced his resignation. Job cuts are also expected.

Going Wireless

Some people wonder if Google Fiber’s recent announcement will foreshadow the company switching gears to wireless.

In order to install its Gigabit speed internet access in Kansas City and other cities, Google Fiber had to dig up streets and get access to utility poles—a time-consuming and costly measure. Many customers complained of their yards being torn apart, contractors busting gas lines and instillation dates continuously being pushed back

In June, the company acquired a wireless ISP called Webpass, which offers high-speed wireless Internet.

Google Fiber has not made any official announcement about moving towards wireless. However, the company did get approval in April from Kansas City Council to start mounting radio gear on city light poles and structures.

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

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