Google Fiber acquires San Francisco ISP Webpass

Google Fiber announced on Wednesday it is acquiring San Francisco-based internet service provider Webpass.

The acquisition means Google's own fibre internet service now has a well-established commercial provider of gigabit internet to aid its continued expansion. Webpass, founded in 2003, focuses on providing businesses with ethernet-based fibre connections, though it also provides residential gigabit internet in select markets for buildings built after 1995.

Webpass is active in five major US markets, including the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, Chicago, Boston, and Miami. The company says it has more than 20,000 customers.

"By joining forces, we can accelerate the deployment of super-fast internet connections for customers across the US," wrote Webpass founder and president Charles Barr in a press release. "Webpass will remain focused on rapid deployment of high speed Internet connections for residential and commercial buildings, primarily using point to point wireless."

The deal is expected to close later this summer, subject to any regulatory approvals. Pricing for the acquisition was not disclosed.

The deal should help Google Fiber with its Bay Area rollout in San Francisco, as well as giving it an edge against cable companies in larger apartment buildings located in urban markets. The fiber division, which operates as a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc after Google's restructuring last year, announced San Francisco as its next target city back in February.

Michael Slinger, the group's business operations director, said at the time that it would not be building its own network and would rely on existing fibre networks instead.

Webpass, being based in San Francisco, has owned and operated such infrastructure since its founding. In other markets, like Huntsville, Alabama, Google Fiber leases portions of the city's municipal fibre network.