Google Fiber TV Subs ‘Astonishingly Low’: Analyst | Multichannel


By: Jeff Baumgartner


Google Fiber’s ambitions have drawn both bearish and bullish views from analysts, but new data from the U.S. Copyright Office shows that the initiative is not yet setting the world on fire, at least with respect to the number of video customers who have signed on so far. 

Google Fiber ended 2015 with just north of 53,000 video subs, according to a blog post from MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett that pointed to fresh data from the U.S. Copyright Office.

The number’s a bit of a mixed bag. In Moffett’s view, Google Fiber’s rate of video growth is strong, but should be stronger. 

“The number of subscribers to Google’s fiber service remains astonishingly low,” Moffett noted. Though the percentage growth rate for Google Fiber is high, he said the surprise is that the growth rate isn’t higher.  “After all, there has been a steady stream of new cities announced, and they’ve now been at it for a long time in at least a handful of markets,” he wrote. 

According to Moffett’s analysis, Google Fiber ended Q4 2015 with 53,390 video subs, up from 28,867 a year earlier. Among individual service areas, it ended the year with about 12,189 video subs in Kansas City, Kan., on a base of 53,925 homes in the city (22.6% penetration), a 16.8% penetration in Kansas City, Mo. (37,338 subs on a base of 221,860 homes in the city); and 8.2% penetration in Provo, Utah (2,718 subs on 33.212 homes).  Google Fiber, he found, also has 941 video subs in Austin, Texas.

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About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry's first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
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