Hundreds of Kansas City residents who have been waiting years for access to Google Fiber are being informed that the super-high-speed internet service won’t reach them after all, according to Bloomberg.
Kansas City was the first location that Google Fiber launched in, starting back in 2012. It currently serves several areas of the city on both sides of the state line, and its coverage area is supposed to expand in the near future.
But at some point over the past five years, it seems that Google began accepting signups and taking deposits from customers in areas that it has since decided not to build out to.
Wireless appears to be the future for Google’s internet efforts
Bloomberg reports that Google Fiber has since become “more careful” about where it takes deposits, only doing so in areas the company believes it’ll be able to reach in a shorter time frame.
It’s not clear exactly what happened in the canceled Kansas City locations, but Google reportedly told customers in an email that it’ll be “unable to build our network to connect your home or business at this time.”
In a statement provided to The Verge, a Google Fiber spokesperson said that the company remained committed to Kansas City. “We recently announced our expansion into Raymore, we are continuing to build in Overland Park, and we can’t wait for even more customers in Kansas City to experience what’s possible with Google Fiber,” the spokesperson said.
Google Fiber deposits are usually $10, and Bloomberg says that Google will be returning the fees to customers it’s unable to serve within the next two weeks.
While the cancellations are only a minor setback for Google Fiber, the company really doesn’t need more in what’s been a spate of bad news over the past year. Since becoming part of Alphabet, Google Fiber has been the subject of serious cost-cutting, with executives seemingly unhappy with the slow and expensive deployment that comes with setting up fiber internet.
Alphabet now seems to be turning to wireless as the main way forward, using technology from another company it owns, Webpass, to provide gigabit internet over the air instead of waiting through slow fiber build-outs.