The news that Google plans to reorganize its corporate structure, creating a new holding company called “Alphabet” hit the tech industry hard recently. The Internet search and advertising giant wants more emphasis placed on the offshoots from its main business. These include the Nest smart home device company, and Google Fiber, the “One Gig” Internet service, currently expanding across the country at a glacial pace.
What other reasons lurk behind Google’s restructuring? Does this mean your dreams for maxing out a Google Fiber speed test are about to come true? Let’s take a closer look at the details.
Are Privacy Concerns Part of Google’s Move to Alphabet?
Some technology pundits speculate public concerns about Google spying on Internet usage through Google Fiber as one of the reasons for their corporate restructuring. The ability to tap into someone’s home life through a Nest device is another worry. Google’s parsing through Gmail users’ emails and serving them advertising related to the content in those emails still haunts many Internet regulars. As separate companies, the hope is that fear becomes somewhat mitigated.
Another major reason to restructure involves quelling investor fears that Google is only able to generate significant revenue through Internet advertising. Ad revenue made up $16 billion of the $17.7 billion earned by Google in its most recent quarter. But simply reshuffling the corporate deck won’t necessarily make Alphabet’s subsidiaries successful by themselves.
Does Project Fi Stay Separate from Google Fiber?
Google’s own wireless Internet initiative, Project Fi, stayed mostly under the radar since its announcement in April. Leveraging portions of Sprint and T-Mobile’s networks, Fi offers an innovative pricing scheme that actually refunds part of your monthly bill if you don’t use your 3GB data allowance. Like Fiber, Fi’s rollout progresses slowly. According to CEO-designate, Sundar Pichai, Google uses the service to highlight innovations it feels the four major carriers need to implement.
Does Google end up combining their Fiber and Fi projects under one umbrella within Alphabet? That remains to be seen, but the company’s earlier comments about Project Fi being used to pressure major carriers into product innovations raises a question whether the ultimate purpose of Fiber itself is similar.
With the recent announcement of San Antonio as the next “Fiber City,” the Northeast and Midwest parts of the country still feel left out. The question remains whether most of the nation gets to enjoy Google Fiber anytime soon. As Google finishes its corporate transformation pay close attention to any Google Alphabet news between now and the end of the year to see if the company speeds up their Fiber rollout.