Google Fiber’s Silicon Valley Rollout Is Delayed

Google has told at least two Silicon Valley cities that it is putting plans to provide lightning-fast fiber internet service on hold while the company explores a cheaper alternative.

The news comes nearly three months after San Jose officials approved a major construction plan to bring Google Fiber to the city. Mountain View and Palo Alto also were working with Google to get fiber internet service but said Monday that the company told them the project has been delayed.

"It was a surprise," said Mountain View public works director Mike Fuller, who added that Google told city officials the company was still committed to providing fiber service in Mountain View. "We didn't expect it because we were working on what was their plan at the time."

Google Fiber was scheduled to announce its official launch in San Jose within months, but plans seemed to stall after the company obtained final permits in May to begin a three-year construction project. At the time, the company estimated that 60 percent of its cable network would be underground and 40 percent would be aerial.

The company was set to begin digging in San Jose last month, but nearly 100 employees hired to install Google Fiber were pulled into an office and told the project was being delayed, according to workers. They were offered a transfer to San Diego to work on an unrelated project.

"We were upset and wanted to know what happened," said fiber optic installer Salvador Bustamonte. "They said that Google was going to re-evaluate this whole project because they were thinking of going aerial."

Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc., recently acquired Webpass Inc., and is expected to adopt its wireless technology, which provides superfast internet service at lower costs without digging up city streets. Webpass' wireless approach involves sending aerial data between transmitters installed on top...

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