Google Fiber will not offer TV packages for customers in Louisville, Kentucky, and San Antonio, Texas, as the service moves to instead focus on providing high-speed internet.
Google Fiber has been struggling, as the service has had to scale back its plans as costs to build out its network have proven to be too high. The decision to drop TV plans for Louisville and San Antonio is the latest sign of its troubles.
No Google Fiber TV In Louisville and San Antonio
Since the initial rollout of Google Fiber, the service has offered a TV add-on that includes more than 220 channels and a DVR that can record multiple programs simultaneously. However, the package will not be an option once Google Fiber launches in Louisville and San Antonio.
According to a Google Fiber blog post, the decision follows the trend of customers moving away from the traditional methods of viewing TV content. As more customers choose internet-only options for Google Fiber, the service will focus on providing the high-speed internet that enables users to freely choose between all the streaming options available to them. The blog post mentions YouTube TV, Netflix, and Hulu as services that can take the place of having a TV package attached to Google Fiber.
Customers in other markets who have signed up for the TV package as part of their Google Fiber subscription will not see any changes. The add-on, however, will not be available for Louisville and San Antonio customers and presumably to all future markets where Google Fiber will launch.
Google Fiber Troubles
While the reason to drop a TV package for Google Fiber in Louisville and San Antonio is sound, the decision is likely a continuation of the service's struggles, as it reduces its offerings to streamline its operations.
In August last year, a report claimed that Google Fiber was exploring alternative options in building out its high-speed broadband internet service such as going wireless, as the cost of installing underground fiber optic cables proved to be too steep. The same month, Alphabet CEO Larry Page reportedly ordered the unit to cut costs, especially after the service has not been able to get as many customers to sign up for it as expected.
In October 2016, Alphabet paused the Google Fiber rollout, as the division needed to rethink its approach in providing its service. The launch of Google Fiber will proceed in several cities including San Antonio and Louisville, but it has been paused for nine other cities that include Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Diego.