George Frey / Reuters
Google Fiber’s expansion activities have always been deliberately slow, but there was a time when it was announcing new coverage areas on a more regular basis. Now, Dinni Jain, the Alphabet subsidiary’s CEO, has announced Fiber’s first expansion plans in years. The company has been working on connecting West Des Moines to its network, making Iowa its first new state in five years, and will soon start building infrastructure in Des Moines. In July, it announced that it’s building a network in Mesa, Arizona, and now it has revealed that the service is also making its way to Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Idaho.
According to Reuters, the company decided on its new locations based on its findings on where internet speeds lag the most. These new locations will be Fiber’s main focus over the next several years, though it will continue expanding availability in cities where it already has a network, as well. Jain told the news organization in his first interview since he took on the role of Fiber’s CEO: “There was an impression 10 years ago that Google Fiber was trying to build the entire country. What we are gesturing here is, ‘No, we are not trying to build the entire country.'”
Since some Alphabet subsidiaries have had to raise funding outside of its parent company, Jain was asked where Fiber would get the money for its planned expansion. He declined to talk about the company’s financial results or funding sources, though he said: Alphabet’s “intent is to build businesses that will be successful in and of their own right and that is what we are trying to do at Google Fiber for sure.” As Reuters notes, Fiber had to pare down activities to lower its usual hundreds of millions of dollars in annual losses due to construction, experimentation and subsidizing home service over the past few years. It even minimized its West Des Moines expansion and stuck to making its service more available in metropolitan areas where it already has a network.
Jain’s blog post about Fiber’s upcoming locations, however, sounds optimistic. He says the company is “thrilled to be expanding [its] geographic reach once again.” Also, while Fiber’s focus is on the states it has already announced, he said the company would still love to talk to and support communities that want to build their own fiber networks.
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