Plan to bring Google Fiber to Oklahoma City put on hold

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SAN FRANCISCO – Google’s parent company is halting operations and laying off staff in a number of cities where it once hoped to bring high-speed internet access by installing new fiber-optic networks.

A year ago, Oklahoma City leaders announced that they would be working with Google Fiber to explore the possibility of building a brand new super fast broadband network in the city.

However, it appears those plans have been put on hold.

The company announced that Craig Barratt, a veteran tech executive who led the ambitious – and expensive – Google Fiber program, is stepping down.

In a statement, Barratt said Google Fiber will continue to provide service in a handful of cities where it’s already operating. But it will put further plans on hold in at least eight more metropolitan areas where it’s been holding exploratory talks with local officials. Those include Dallas; Tampa and Jacksonville, Florida; Los Angeles; Oklahoma City; Phoenix; Portland, Oregon; and San Jose, California.

“We’re ever grateful to these cities for their ongoing partnership and patience, and we’re confident we’ll have an opportunity to resume our partnership discussions once we’ve advanced our technologies and solutions,” Barlatt said in a blog post. ” In this handful of cities that are still in an exploratory stage, and in certain related areas of our supporting operations, we’ll be reducing our employee base.”

Barratt didn’t say how many jobs will be cut.