Alphabet to cut Google Fiber staff by 50%

Bill Boyle
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Alphabet, Google's parent company, is reportedly set to slash Google Fiber's workforce from 1,000 to 500 employees

The news of staff cuts comes after reports that Google Fiber is moving to cheaper wireless technology to increase its subscriber growth after a series of setbacks in its fibre rollouts. 

The cost-cutting directive has come from Alphabet CEO Larry Page who has told Google Fiber chief Craig Barratt to reduce his team by 50%, according to a number of reports. 

Google Fiber is now available in eight US metropolitan areas, with roll-outs planned for five new cities  including Irvine, California and San Francisco. There are also plans bring Fiber to approximately another dozen markets, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and Portland. 

However, subscriber numbers are below initial targets, according to many reports. At the same time, Fiber has been losing money. A recent reorganisation resulted in Fiber being separated from Google's main business into a group that also includes Nest, maker of the internet-connected thermostat. This group has been losing money, to the tune of $859 million, according to Google's most recent financial report.  

There have been many reports that Google might be cutting Fiber costs by using wireless technology to connect homes to the Internet. This would be much cheaper than digging up the roads to lay fibre-optic cables, something which Google bosses have been heard to complain about recently. 

These reports have been boosted by Alphabet’s decision to acquire San Francisco-based wireless Internet provider Webpass.