There are currently six U.S. cities with Fiber: Provo, Utah; Kansas City (Missouri and Kansas); Austin, Texas; Huntsville, Alabama; Atlanta; and Charlotte, North Carolina.Fiber has plans to expand to as many as 16 new cities. Fiber offers residential service but has also been a key selling point for cities to attract small business and for real estate property managers.
A Fiber plan that includes high-speed internet (estimated at 30 times faster than the industry average) and TV costs $130 in cities such as Kansas City — $70 for internet alone and $60 for TV service.
In June, Google Fiber bought Webpass, a 13-year-old internet service provider focusing on businesses and residential connections. Like Google Fiber, Webpass offers speeds of up to 1 gigabyte per second.
In an interview with Recode earlier this year, Craig Barratt, CEO of the Access unit that oversees Fiber, said the company is working on connecting wireless towers to existing fiber lines and is "experimenting with a number of different wireless technologies" to make that happen. It was the first time Barratt or anyone at Alphabet had publicly talked about their interest in wireless.
"We are experimenting with a number of different wireless technologies. One of the things that is intriguing about wireless is that it allows you to reach houses and users that are in lower-density settings — where fiber becomes too expensive. So providing fixed wireless services using some of the technologies we think are ways of accelerating our deployments," Barratt told Recode.
The WSJ estimated Google has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to dig up ground and lay cable for Fiber operations. In its most recent earnings, the "Other Bets" Google unit that includes Fiber reported revenue of $185 million but an operating loss of $859 million. Fiber is one of only three bets in this category to earn money, alongside smart thermostat-maker Nest and its life-sciences unit Verily.
Barratt told Recode that Fiber is not fixated on a single technology approach to broadband service: "We think, over time, there will be a sort of heterogeneous mix of technologies that we can use, depending upon the type of problem we're trying to solve."