Google Fiber says it will be leaving the Louisville, Ky., area in April, citing construction challenges that resulted in lower quality service.
“We’re not living up to the high standards we set for ourselves, or the standards we’ve demonstrated in other Fiber cities,” Google said in a blog post announcing the decision. “We would need to essentially rebuild our entire network in Louisville to provide the great service that Google Fiber is known for, and that’s just not the right business decision for us.”
Google Fiber launched service in Louisville in October 2017. In the blog post, Google noted that it used the city to test out a variety of methods, including an alternative construction approach called micro-trenching that involves laying fiber in much shallower trenches than the service has done elsewhere.
“Innovating means learning, and sometimes, unfortunately, you learn by failing,” Google wrote. “In Louisville, we’ve encountered challenges that have been disruptive to residents and caused service issues for our customers.”
Those issues included using sealant to secure fiber, which didn’t always stick, causing cables to be fully exposed in some areas and drawing criticism from residents over sloppy installation.
Still, Google says lessons learned in Louisville have helped improve other Google Fiber markets, where the project is seeing “good outcomes” after refining its micro trenching techniques.
Google Fiber notified Louisville customers that the network will be turned off April 15, and Google will cover the cost for the next two months of service.
Google says the decision to pull out of Louisville won’t affect operations in any other Google Fiber markets.