Google Fiber is hitting the highway and leaving Louisville, Kentucky, less than a year and half since the gigabit internet service was deployed in the area. That's a tough pill for Louisville residents to swallow, but even more disappointing is the reason—poor installation.
When Google expanded its Fiber service to Louisville, it used a method called "micro trenching" to lay down the infrastructure. This involves shallow trenches, as opposed to digging deeper into the ground or using utility poles. As such, Google was able to outpace the competition and roll out its gigabit service just five months after it was announced.
"When we launched Fiber service in Louisville in October 2017, we noted at the time that it was the fastest we’ve ever moved from construction announcement to signing up customers. That’s because we were trialing a lot of things in Louisville, including a different type of construction method—namely, placing fiber in much shallower trenches than we’ve done elsewhere," Google stated in a blog post.
"Innovating means learning, and sometimes, unfortunately, you learn by failing. In Louisville, we’ve encountered challenges that have been disruptive to residents and caused service issues for our customers," Google added.
Those shallows trenches in the pavement of city streets proved problematic. WDRB reports that many issues ensued, including sealant that coming up out of the trenches and into the roads.
Google didn't go into much detail about its problems, but did say it would have to rebuild the entire network in Louisville if it stayed.
"That's just not the right business decision for us," Google said.
It won't come as any consolation to Fiber subscribers in Louisville, but for what it's worth, Google says its experience in Louisville has allowed it to refine its micro trenching methods, which are showing better results elsewhere.
What might come as consolation is that the last two months of service before Google pulls out on April 15 is free of charge.