Portland Joins The “Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting For Google Fiber” List

Image courtesy of Discrete_Photography

Remember how last week, it turned out Google was temporarily suspending their plan to build out more Google Fiber in their own silicon valley back yard? Well, metro San Jose can feel special about one thing with the delay, at least: it’s not alone.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, San Jose isn’t the only “potential” Google Fiber city to have its plans on hold. It’s now joined by Portland, Oregon, another burgeoning tech mecca.

So why the slowdown in a generally popular project?

Because laying cable in and around big bustling cities is hard, complicated, and really expensive. It’s not impossible, but it does cost a lot of money, require a lot of labor, and take a lot of time. That makes it a really unattractive prospect to keep building, even if you do have people queuing up to buy your service as soon as it’s available.

That’s why it’s been unsurprising to see Google asking permission to run tests of new high-speed wireless technologies they could eventually use instead. Citing the ever-popular “people familiar” with the company’s plans, the WSJ says that Google is hoping to take wireless tech to Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas, among others.

It’s been years since Google Fiber launched as a promising service in Kansas City in 2010. Since then, the company’s expanded to a solid two dozen metro areas on its potential build-out list, but has only actually opened for business in six.

In a statement to the WSJ, the Alphabet-formerly-known-as-Google said, “We’re continuing to work with city leaders to explore the possibility of bringing Google Fiber to many cities. This means deploying the latest technologies in alignment with our product road map, while understanding local considerations and challenges, which takes time.”

Google’s High-Speed Web Plans Hit Snags [Wall Street Journal]

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