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This winter has been very rough on Google Fiber, Alphabet’s high-speed Internet service. An overabundance of snow, ice and water have caused service outages. Why do these issues not seem to hamper competitors?
The latest news is that the service is leaving Louisville, supposedly due to a faulty installation process. Why not correct the faults? What is the real problem at Google Fiber?
Traditional competition starts with the local phone and cable television companies. That category includes large companies like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Charter, as well as loads of smaller players.
Google Fiber started several years ago when Alphabet became impatient. It wanted to make faster Internet widely available. So, it entered the market space, posing a threat to the traditional providers.
Google was not in the service business at the time, as I noted back then. It offered search, mobile with Android, and an assortment of other businesses, but not services. I believed that Google simply wanted to put pressure on the existing competitors to speed their progress.
Entering the service business was a completely new and different business model for the company. That’s why I figured it was simply trying to act as a catalyst, and as soon as competitors cranked up their speeds, Google Fiber would fade into the sunset.
However, something different happened. Although many competitors are now blazingly fast, having increased their speeds several times over, Google Fiber has not gone away.
Snail’s Pace Expansion
When Google Fiber launched, I figured that if the goal was to become a serious competitor, the company would bring its existing brand relationship and value, and really crank it up. I expected to see an incredible growth engine ignite — if that was the case.
Nothing like that happened. Instead, Google Fiber has been advancing at a snail’s…