After media reports indicated it canceled “hundreds” of area residents’ installations without a specific reason, Google Fiber is now clarifying its Kansas City plans.
The tech giant — which began building an expansive gigabit network in Kansas City, Kan. in 2011 — said that while it remains committed to the area, it is tapering its expansion plans for now.
“Google Fiber loves Kansas City and is here to stay,” the company said in a statement. “We’ve been grateful to be part of your community since 2011, and for the opportunity to provide superfast Internet to residents. In order to focus our efforts and resources, we’ll be slowing construction in some areas until we can layer in the new deployment models we’re developing.”
Google Fiber added that it’s continuing to offer signups in Raymore and Overland Park, but is “simply telling customers we won’t be building to them in 2017,” the statement read.
“We want to refund their deposit and let them know as opposed to making them wait,” Google Fiber said. “This is to improve customer experience and reducing wait times.”
The statement from Google Fiber follows a report that mass cancellations were taking place around Kansas City without explanation. On March 16, KSHB reported on an email that a prospective Google Fiber customer received in Olathe.
“Thanks for signing up for Google Fiber. Although we’ve been working hard to bring you service, we’re unable to build our network to connect your home at this time,” it wrote in an email. “Unfortunately, this means we need to cancel your Fiber account. If you paid a deposit, we’ll refund your deposit amount to your original form of payment in the next two weeks.”
The recent news follows a February announcement from Google Fiber that it was beginning to refocus its employees after a leadership change. Although the gigabit provider lost “hundreds” of employees — all of which were reportedly shifted into new roles within Google — the firm insisted it planned to continue expansion in the Kansas City area.