Google Fiber is discontinuing its TV services in Austin, saying it is moving away from television offerings to focus on its internet services.
The company said Google Fiber TV services will end in Austin and Atlanta by Nov. 30. The company said it will provide affected customers will whole-home WiFi with Google WiFi, streaming capabilities through Chromecast with Google TV, and help in transitioning to streaming services of their choosing.
There will be no changes to Google Fiber internet services, according to the company.
“More and more people are opting out of the traditional model of television, replacing their traditional TV with a wide variety of streaming options every day that customizes their content at lower costs. We believe the best TV is already online, so we’re upgrading our customers from Google Fiber TV to a better TV watching experience with the streaming service of their choice,” Google Fiber said in a written statement.
Austin was the second U.S. metro area chosen for Google Fiber’s high-speed internet in 2013. The company began rolling out the service to some areas of the city in 2015. The internet service runs at speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second, or about 100 times faster than the average U.S. broadband internet connection.
Google Fiber TV is an add-on bundle to the company’s internet service, and offered customers over 100 channels for an additional cost.
The company has not offered the TV service in any new markets since February 2020. At that time, Google Fiber said in a blog post that it was returning focus to its origins as an Internet-focused company.
“Google Fiber will no longer offer a linear TV product to new customers. For our current TV customers, we know you have come to rely on Google Fiber TV and we will continue to provide you with traditional TV service,” the company said in the February 2020 blog post. “And we’ll be happy to help everyone explore other options to get their favorite programming the way TV is watched now — over the Internet, with the virtually unlimited choice and control online viewing provides.”
Jim Hayes, president of the Fiber Optic Association, a California-based nonprofit that provides training for industry professionals, said he was not surprised to hear Google Fiber is dropping the TV service in Austin.
“For years ISPs have complained that they do not make money on TV services due to the high cost of content. Unless you are a (traditional cable service provider) with tens of millions of subscribers, you can’t get prices that are tolerable by customers.”
Special delivery:Your next Austin take-out order could be delivered by a robot
Google Fiber has continued expanding in Austin and opened a retail space in South Lamar in March for customers, which adds to its downtown office. The company also launched 2 gigabit internet service in Austin last year and has expanded to new areas including Allandale, North Loop, Mueller and North Shoal Creek. Amid the pandemic, Google Fiber said it has seen an uptick in demand across all its service areas.
Since the company began offering its high-speed service in Austin, other internet service providers have stepped up their offerings on internet speeds. Most recently, Verizon has entered Austin’s home internet services market. The company said Wednesday, that it will be offering its 5G Home broadband internet service to customers both in their homes and on their smartphones. Last week, the company said it plans to offer 5G Business Internet in Austin.
The service uses Verizon’s 5G cellular data network to offer the internet service. The home service offers customers download speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second, with plans for about $50 a month for existing Verizon customers and $70 for new customers.