The slow, methodical rollout of Google’s broadband internet service, Fiber, is stopping. The CEO of Google Access, a subsidiary of Alphabet, is leaving the company, temporarily halting the march toward fast, affordable internet for Americans.
Barratt, who will remain an advisor to Alphabet CEO Larry Page, wrote a post online detailing his departure. He decided that this is ” the right juncture” to exit his role. A new CEO has not been named. As Barratt departs, 9% of the Fiber team could be laid off, according to Ars Technica.
“Five years after announcing we’d bring Google Fiber to Kansas City, our vision remains: to connect more people to superfast and abundant Internet,” he said. “Just as any competitive business must, we have to continue not only to grow, but also stay ahead of the curve—pushing the boundaries of technology, business, and policy—to remain a leader in delivering superfast Internet.”
Google Fiber launched in 2010. In 2015 it became a part of Access under the new Alphabet company structure. Currently Fiber has more than 450,000 customers. Fiber operates in several cities including Atlanta, Austin, and Nashville, but cities flagged as “potential” may now have to wait an unknown length of time before getting their promised service. These cities include Chicago, Los Angeles, and Portland.