Google Fiber’s efforts to get its 1 Gbps-capable FTTH network off the ground in Louisville, Kentucky, may have hit two key speed bumps in the form of lawsuits from area incumbent providers AT&T and Charter; however, it looks like the provider is getting ready to develop a sales and operations staff to support the city’s pending network build.
On its job page, Google Fiber has posted two Louisville area positions, reflecting the internet giant’s move to build its Louisville-area sales and operations team.
These job postings include Sales Strategy and Operations (SSO) Manager and Field Operations Manager, Sales and Business Operations, for Google Fiber.
“The Sales Strategy and Operations Manager is a member of Google Fiber’s Sales and Business Operations (SBO) team,” reads a Google Fiber job description. “SBO is charged with launching and running the business side of the operation in each of our Google Fiber markets.”
In April, the city’s mayor confirmed Louisville was formally chosen as a Google Fiber expansion city. However, at the time, Google Fiber did not officially confirm its plans for the city.
Similarly to other cities it had named as FTTH targets, details about Google Fiber’s plans were scarce. The company said only that it would focus on metro Louisville, and noted it would provide deployment specifications at a later date. Google did post a page where residents can sign up for notifications about its progress.
Getting to announce Louisville as a new FTTH city had been anything but easy for Google Fiber.
The joint effort by Google Fiber and Louisville to pass a "one touch make ready" (OTMR) ordinance would allow Google Fiber and other new entrants to access existing utility poles owned by AT&T and electric utilities to string fiber cable along streets and into homes and businesses.
The OTMR ordinance was a source of controversy between Google Fiber and Louisville’s incumbent telco AT&T and cable provider Charter. Both of these service providers sued Louisville for passing the utility pole attachment ordinance. OTMR would allow service providers like Google Fiber to move existing utility lines from AT&T and other service providers.
While these cases are still under review, Google Fiber said that Louisville would be one of the first cities which would use a hybrid approach including a mix of wireline-based fiber and millimeter wave wireless technology to speed up installation timelines.
But Google Fiber’s troubles have not just been relegated to Louisville. In late 2016, Craig Barratt’s proposed plans to expand into another eight cities were nixed, and Alphabet laid off 9% of the Access division workforce. That decision led directly to Barratt leaving in October. Barratt was replaced by Gregory McCray.
More recently, McCray resigned in July as the leader of Access, the Alphabet operation that contains Google Fiber, after only 5 months in the position. Alphabet, Google Fiber’s parent company, did not provide a reason for McCray stepping down and no replacement was announced.
Despite troubles on the management front and not presenting a clear vision on what technology it would use, the service provider insists it is dedicated to building out its broadband network in Louisville.
“Building a new fiber network is a big job, and we’re grateful for the continued patience and support of the city’s residents and leaders," the company recently said. "Working with our partners, we can’t wait to continue to develop creative ways to bring super-fast connectivity to Louisville."