Google Fiber has disclosed that its expansion into new markets including San Antonio, Texas and Louisville, Kentucky will only include an internet connection and that there will be no television package or DVR offered. According to Google the change was helped by the fact that the company has a strategy that is flexible.
“We’re not afraid to try new things as part of our normal way of doing business, focused on the end goal of getting superfast Internet into people’s homes,” wrote Cathy Fogler, Google Fiber’s Head of Marketing and Sales, in an online posting.
Google Fiber has been facing challenges for a number of years now following sign ups that were not as high as expected. Costs have also skyrocketed partly attributed to cable programming. And after just five months as the chief executive officer of Google Fiver, Gregory McCray resigned in July this year. The service has also failed to launch in some places where it had been expected to roll out. In Kansas City for instance customers were recently informed of the cancellation of their orders after waiting since 2015.
According to Fogler, the cable television offering of Google Fiber has not been a huge draw for subscribers. While information about this business is scantly documents that have been filed with copyright regulators show that the number of video service subscribers for Google Fiber was less than 70,000.
In cities where internet services have already been bundled with cable television, Google Fiber will not change the offerings. However subscribers will have to pay more for this package. In Charlotte, North Carolina, for instance, the bill for cable TV and an internet connection has risen by 15% and will now be $150 per month. Customers will still have the choice of an internet-only plan.
Google Fiber’s parent company, Alphabet, has rolled out a YouTube TV which is a package that is similar to cable television and which has now been rolled out to 14 new markets in the United States. Some of the channels YouTube TV streams broadcasts from include NBC, FOX, CBS and ABC. Other companies have done the same and this includes Sony with its PlayStation Vue and AT&T with its DirecTV Now. These services are eating into cable TV’s market share as they are much more affordable coming at only half the price or even lower. There are also purely online services such as Hulu and Netflix whose growth rate is even higher.