For shaking up the hidebound business of broadband
As director of expansion for Google Fiber, Jill Szuchmacher spearheads the ultra-high-speed broadband service's rollout to new markets—a process which involves close collaboration with local government agencies and community leaders, the cultivation of local fan bases, and efforts to bridge the digital divide by bringing free Internet access to disadvantaged households. The service, which provides Internet access up to 40 times speedier than basic broadband service, is available in only four markets, with at least seven more on the way. But already it has had an outsized impact on the broadband industry, prodding major cable companies to stay competitive by offering more speed to their customers. In February 2016, Google wired a low-income apartment complex in Kansas City, Missouri, with free Fiber—with more public housing developments across Fiber’s markets planned—and in 2015 announced that it is working with local officials to make Fiber available to residents in Los Angeles and Chicago. Szuchmacher has spent most of the past decade working on business development initiatives for new Google efforts, including video advertising and Google TV. Prior to joining the company in 2006, she was cofounder and CEO of Wet Electrics, a startup that created software allowing multimedia designers to coordinate and control audio and video elements from multiple sources.