Google Fiber TV was Google’s alternative to cable TV. The service provided high-speed broadband internet, and customers could sign up for a TV-channels package.
In February 2020, Google announced they were removing the TV package from the Google Fiber service. Instead, they were focusing on providing high-speed and high-quality internet connection. As they mentioned on their blog:
“Customers today just don’t need traditional TV. The best TV is already online.”
Google assured their existing customers they would be supporting them as usual. However, new customers would have to choose from their new plans. With their internet plan, users could also select to sign up for YouTubeTV or FuboTV, which specialized in sports channels. Customers could also enjoy any other streaming services they have subscribed to.
There are multiple reasons for Google’s decision. To begin with, they were stuck paying for overpriced licensing fees for the TV channels they offered. Other providers, such as Comcast, didn’t have to spend as much since they had previous arrangements with the networks. Google couldn’t compete on that front.
Furthermore, Google had a hard time spreading their network, especially in the Midwest. Again competing with traditional providers was turning out to be quite costly. With Fiber becoming part of Access in 2015, which was also under Google’s parent company Alphabet, they had stricter requirements concerning how much they spent.
Finally, Google Fiber launched in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2017 and attempted to build a new fiber network there. The project eventually failed due to poor engineering and construction, and Fiber ended owing to the city $4 million in reparations.
Still, Google Fiber offered (and still does) the fastest average internet speed in the USA and at an affordable price, so their decision to focus on internet TV might have been for the best.