Google Fiber will be discontinued in Louisville, Kentucky.
The service launched just about 1.5 years ago and the reason that residents will now have to bear is a pretty annoying one- the gigabit network was installed poorly.
Google used a method to build a network called micro-trenching, which was a series of trenches that weren’t that deep in nature. The cause for this was that it was much faster to build smaller trenches rather than use poles or actual trenches.
This provided Google with a way to deploy their network much faster than their competition with their new gigabit service. And this was just a few months post-launch after it was officially annouced and residents could sign up.
The problem was that the trenches in the streets of Louisville started to cause some major problems. Reports say that sealant would rise up and leak into the roads. The network of wires was exposed to the surface and elements, which would also cause problems, I’d assume.
Google didn’t comment on the many problems but did mention that to continue providing to residents in Louisville, they’d have to rebuild the entire thing from scratch. And they said that “that’s just not the right business decision for us.” So it looks like they’re taking the network out.
Lousiville high-speed subscribers will have to turn to other gigabit providers unless they can deal with going back to cable speeds. Google has “redefined” their microtrenching techniques and should roll out new methods of implementation elsewhere. Whether or not Google will return to Louisville someday in the future is unknown.
But they will be offering free service in the last two months before they discontinue all accounts in mid-April is the only thing customers can look forward to.
“When we launched Fiber service in Louisville in October 2017, we noted at the time that it was the fastest we’ve ever moved from construction announcement to signing up customers. That’s because we were trailing a lot of things in Louisville, including a different type of construction method—namely, placing fiber in much shallower trenches than we’ve done elsewhere.”
“Innovating means learning, and sometimes, unfortunately, you learn by failing. In Louisville, we’ve encountered challenges that have been disruptive to residents and caused service issues for our customers.”