If cable/DSL is good, people won't switch. Kevin McLaughlin's article is unconfirmed but makes sense. Update Someone who knows thinks this is false. The analysis stands whether or not there are cuts today.End update.
I have 200/20 cable; Jennie 50/50 fiber. Both are rock solid and uncongested. For most people that's fine and Google's gigabit isn't worth switching for. Reported result: Cost per new customer blows out the economics. Fiber needs to win ?30% to 50% of the market. That's hard if the existing carriers aren't so bad. LTE by the end of this year will be at a gigabit, (shared) with more antennas likely to allow servicing more fixed customers.
LTE by the end of this year will be at a gigabit, (shared.) Many antenna MIMO will allow servicing more fixed customers even before 5G is ready. Comcast and Cox are promising a gigabit (shared) to half the country within two years.
People hate to switch.
I've had agony rearranging my home network and I'm in the business. Installers never seem to come on time and often there's a problem at the beginning. You have to learn a new system of billing and getting support. Some people even have to change their email. All are solvable problems but most people need a compelling reason to switch.
Google Kansas City five years ago looked like a moneymaker, confirmed by CFO Ruth Porat and Carlos Kirchner on Wall Street. It had great publicity, with the mayor and the local clergy leading the promotion. The competition was slow, obsolete DSL and cable that was probably 15/1. Today, most cable is 50/5 or higher, covering probably four out of five U.S. homes. Since then, Google fiber has added so few customers they refuse to provide a figure.
The other cablecos shouldn't be far behind Comcast and Cox. Upstream is still only 15-35 megabits; most have decided to wait three to six years for full duplex cable, likely 500 megabits upstream (shared.) At least 85% of the U.S. homes will be covered with fast cable. Most of the rest are rural, where fiber can cost $4,000 or more to deploy.
AT&T and Century have been hemorrhaging subscribers where they haven't upgraded their DSL, at least according to the numbers last quarter. They are planning 15-20M upgrades to either fiber home or 500+ megabit G.fast. With Verizon's nearly 20 million, between a third and half the U.S. should be able to get 500 megabits from their telco.The carriers aren't stupid and will do most of their upgrades where customers are likely profitable and construction costs relatively low. Those are the prime areas for Google as well.
LTE at a gigabit is ready to take a share and Google has some of the world's best wireless engineers.