News Story

After CEO Resigns, Google Fiber Says Atlanta Is Safe

Jul. 18, 2017

WABE

The CEO of Google Access, Gregory McCray, which oversees Google Fiber, stepped down Monday.

McCray was named CEO in February 2017 after CEO Craig Barratt resigned last year. Barratt left after layoffs were announced and plans to expand Google Fiber to nearly a dozen cities was put on hold.

Humayun Zafar, associate professor of information security at Kennesaw State University, said Google Fiber seems to have had a rocky start in Atlanta.   

"They do many things well, but there are certain areas where they struggle. If that is happening, then it’s not a complete surprise that the person at the top takes the hit,” Zafar said. “The guy who lays down the cables is not going to be held responsible for what could be an incomplete business strategy: maybe they didn’t foresee some of the challenges."

Georgia’s Public Service Commission began investigating a contractor hired by Google Fiber to install its optic cables underground after reports of damage to utility lines last year. 

A Google spokesperson said Atlanta will not be affected by the leadership change.

“We are committed to the success of Google Fiber. The team is bringing gigabit connections to more and more happy customers,” said Larry Page, the CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet. “We are serving not only our core Fiber cities but also others through Webpass. Fiber has a great team and I'm confident we will find an amazing person to lead this important business.”

Google Fiber is already installed and available in more than 100 apartment complexes, co-ops and condos in 16 cities in the metro Atlanta area.

The company does not have a timeline for when installation will be complete in other communities in the area, but launched an apartment finder tool for residents to track when it may be available in their area. Installation has not yet begun in four of the 20 cities listed: Alpharetta, Chamblee, East Point and Hapeville.

The internet service will cost $50 to $70 a month. The company also announced a $15 broadband service for Atlanta residents who live in neighborhoods with low internet connectivity. 

Google Fiber first announced its plans to expand to metro Atlanta in January 2015 and began construction in Midtown Atlanta in June 2016.