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Alphabet is sending hundreds of staff from its internet access unit to Google

The subsidiary, called Access, also has a new CEO.

Google’s Fiber launch in Provo, UT.
Google's Fiber launch in Provo, UT.
George Frey/Getty Images

Alphabet has shifted hundreds of staff from its internet access unit — which is called Access and includes Google Fiber — over to Google, and hired former broadband executive Gregory McCray to head the unit, the company has confirmed.

McCray, previously CEO of Aero Communications, replaces Craig Barratt, who left his role as chief executive of Access in October. The changes at Access, first reported by Bloomberg, raise questions about the future of the subsidiary.

Barratt’s departure coincided with other cutbacks at Access. These included an announcement of layoffs and the halting of a rollout of high-speed internet service Fiber to new cities. (At one point last year, it seemed Alphabet wanted to build out high-speed fiber internet access across the U.S., competing directly with large telecom companies like Comcast* and AT&T. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.)

Asked if Access could potentially shut down following the latest cutbacks, a spokesperson for the unit said it would not be going away, noting that it is among four core revenue drivers of Alphabet’s “Other Bets,” or smaller units outside of Google.

A statement from Google Fiber said the project “remains focused on our customers and cities. We want to bring Google Fiber to customers faster, so we’re focused on making deployment more efficient and less intrusive. We’re thrilled that Greg has agreed to join as CEO, to drive this innovation and to grow the business.”

McCray said in a statement: “Google Fiber has been instrumental in making the web faster and better for everyone — something I’ve been passionate about my entire career. I’m thrilled to lead Access as we continue in our mission to connect more people to abundant access, on networks that are always fast and always open.”

* Comcast, via its NBCUniversal unit, is a minority investor in Vox Media, which owns this site.

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