Google reins back on connectivity ambitions

By:
Bill Boyle
Published on:

Google's parent Alphabet looks close to selling Skybox, causing speculation that Google's international connectivity ambitions are cooling

Executives at Google’s holding company Alphabet are reported to be close to taking Skybox off its books in an equity transaction, fuelling speculation that Google is slowing down its ambitions to connect the world.

The move into connectivity was signaled by the acquisition of Skybox and also by increases in investment in Google Fiber. This was dropped at the end of 2016. The allegations that Google intended to compete with ISPs was always shrouded in mystery and never certain.

However, the acquisition of Webpass, the wireless connectivity specialist, may just indicate that Google thinks it can connect the world in an easier way that laying fibre in the ground and competing for on submarine cables.

It, therefore, looks very likely that Google is drastically cutting back on its connectivity ambitions, although the reason for that may just be due to short-term financials as Google weighs up its options and the availability of the correct acquisitions. It may even be because of the wider political climate in the US.

Google parent Alphabet has been pulling back the reins on its once-international plans to cover the planet with fibre at ground-level and satellites above us with internet access, partly through networks of small satellites. In October, the company  axed almost 9% of staff from its Fiber internet service.

In June 2014, when Google bought Skybox, the search behometh said its equipment would help make Google Maps more accurate.

The Skybox sale to Planet is an equity transaction. Alphabet will own a stake in the start up, according to Bloomberg news.