Google Fiber shuts down Boise call center

photo of hp building
A Google Fiber call center on the HP campus has been shut down. File photo

A call center that served Google Fiber customers in other states has been shut down.

Google never offered the high-speed internet service in Boise, but operated the call center in subleased space on the former HP campus on Chinden.

“We’ve moved our call center operations in Idaho to other locations in the United States,” said a Google Fiber spokesperson in an email message. The spokesperson didn’t say why the company had made this decision nor how many jobs were involved.

photo of craig shaul
Craig Shaul

Currently, Idaho has about 9,100 call center jobs among 108 companies, with an average wage of almost $43,000 annually, according to Craig Shaul, an analyst for the Idaho Department of Labor. That’s a jump from 2,177 such jobs among 31 employers, paying an average wage of $12,799, in 2000, he said.

Google Fiber has provided 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) broadband internet service to households over fiber-optic cabling since 2010. It is currently available in about 18 cities, including Provo and Salt Lake City in Utah, as well as in San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle and Denver.

HP sold its 197-acre Boise campus to the state in 2017, leasing back 793,000 square feet of the total 1.346 million square feet across eight buildings. A 152,000-square-foot building had been vacant for at least five years. The state has been moving state offices to the site as its leases end elsewhere.

However, the state didn’t have anything to do with Google Fiber’s departure, said Bryan Mooney, director of the Department of Administration, in an email message.

“We do not have a lease with Google Fiber,” he said. “I believe HP could have had a sublease [in] place prior to the State purchasing property.  We have not heard of this notification and would not be notified.”

There had been speculation earlier this fall that the state would not lease space back to HP when its leases end, but Mooney had said that HP has two five-year leases exercisable at its own discretion.

This article was updated on Nov. 19 with call center industry data.