Monday, 02 January 2017 05:17

Tech industry watchers weigh in: Will Google Fiber sell itself?


The bright Google Fiber future got a lot murkier in 2016, with national rollbackstesty litigious fights over utility pole policies in Nashville and Louisville and local contractor layoffs. It's no surprise, then, that the tech press' 2017 speculation includes ample talk of who might buy the gigabit service from its parent company, Alphabet Inc.

According to The Information, internet provider CenturyLink makes sense as a potential buyer. Fortune magazine, in its coverage of The Information story, notes that "the likelihood of the speculated sale would depend heavily on the fiber business's financials as there is no obvious reason the unit would be appealing to any buyer," especially given the expense of stringing fiber and the stiff competition from legacy cable and telephone operators. (For more on that competition, check out our profile of AT&T Tennessee President Joelle Phillips, our 2016 Newsmaker of the Year.)

Google Fiber

Google Fiber's bright future got a lot murkier in 2016.

Google Fiber, now up and running in a handful of Nashville apartment and condo buildings, has long been eagerly awaited by many in Nashville's tech, entrepreneurial and broader business communities, who see the service as a huge boon to the city's branding, attractiveness and capabilities. That vision has been somewhat complicated by the slow, controversial rollout of the service and questions about its long-term future.

TheStreet also got in on the speculation game, quoting analysts to push back on the likelihood of a deal because Google Fiber's relatively low broadband subscriber base and video customer totals would drive down a potential valuation.

Google Fiber did not comment in any of these media reports. Check out The Information's hereFortune's here and TheStreet's right here.

Author : Eleanor Kennedy

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