Google Fiber pulls out of Louisville

It wasn’t that long ago that cities across the U.S. were vying for Google Fiber, the company’s high-speed internet service. Since the launch of the project in Kansas City in 2012, Google Fiber launched in about a dozen more cities, most recently Huntsville, San Antonio and Louisville in 2017. But you can now strike Louisville from that list because Google today announced that it will shut off its fiber network there on April 15.

The reason for that is simple, Google says (but these things never really are). It says it tried a few new things when it launched in the city, including putting the fiber lines into shallower trenches. That didn’t work very well.

“We’re not living up to the high standards we set for ourselves, or the standards we’ve demonstrated in other Fiber cities,” the company writes today. “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.”

It’s a rare admission of defeat for Google Fiber, though it’s no secret that the company isn’t exactly bullish on the prospect of the service anymore. Louisville was supposed to be somewhat of a comeback for Google Fiber, which like so many Google services is now under more pressure to generate a profit. Clearly, that didn’t work out. If this were still a major growth and focus area for Google, it would have done exactly what it isn’t doing in Louisville: rebuild the entire network.

Customers in the city will get free access to the service until it shuts down.