Google Fiber burst onto the scene in 2012, promising 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) internet at lower costs than traditional cable and internet providers — but those ambitions have been curtailed in recent years. In 2016, plans to expand were put on pause and some cities slated to get new fiber service were instead given wireless service. Louisville now marks the service’s most high-profile failure.
As CNET describes, Google Fiber had sought to install fiber in Louisville in just five months by having crews dig trenches just two inches deep to install fiber cables, then fill them in with a solidifying, rubbery liquid. The method was meant to avoid the costly up-front costs of laying fiber (and pass rivals also trying to expand in Louisville), but the installation clearly had some problems. Google has used a similar technique — but with six-inch trenches — in San Antonio.