Google Fiber’s parent Alphabet is retooling the FTTH provider’s structure yet again by reassigning a number of its employees to other roles in the company, signaling it is moving forward with realigning its last-mile network service strategy.
The service provider also named Gregory McCray, CEO of Aero Communications, as the new CEO of Access, the unit of Alphabet that runs Google Fiber.
McCray replaces Craig Barratt, who left Google Fiber last year. Barratt recently reemerged as the CEO of Ethernet silicon vendor Barefoot Networks.
Bringing in McCray to the fold makes sense as he led a company that specialized in outside plant construction, wireless, engineering and fulfillment services. These skills are relevant to any service provider trying to build out a brand new network.
A number of reports indicate that Google Fiber is realigning the all-fiber strategy by incorporating broadband wireless into its fold.
The first indication of that vision came last year when Google Fiber bought Webpass, a company that has created a hybrid fiber/microwave broadband network targeting mainly multi-dwelling units (MDUs).
At the same time, Google Fiber’s journey has been anything but easy. In addition to facing opposition from local telcos on how to string its fiber to existing poles, Google Fiber announced it would lay off workers in the access division.
Earlier, reports emerged that Google Fiber put its planned buildout of 1 Gbps to San Jose, Mountain View, and Palo Alto, California.
By leveraging Webpass’ approach, Google Fiber could potentially extend services to more customers by leveraging a city’s existing infrastructure. This would allow Google Fiber to bypass the need of having to string new cables along utility poles or dig up people’s yards.
Fiber builds to continue
Despite this new reorganization, Google Fiber is not completely hanging up on its FTTH project.
Customers that reside in an area like Kansas City can still sign up for service. The service provider is also moving forward with its FTTH builds in Nashville, Louisville and San Antonio.
Google Fiber is also examining emerging fiber installation techniques like microtrenching, a method that allows service providers to carve shallow grooves in the ground to deploy fiber.
The service provider’s interest in using microtrenching emerged after several communities in Austin, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina, have complained that careless errors by Google Fiber contractors severed gas lines and caused flooding.