The company formerly known as Google is far bigger than most people realize (GOOG, GOOGL)

Letters spell the word

Several of the projects and companies overseen by Alphabet Inc., the holding company Google created in 2015, have generated news of late.

On Tuesday,  RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney issued a bullish report about the future of Waymo, the self-driving car company is due to launch commercial operations in Phoenix, Ariz., before the end of the year. 

And on Wednesday, Alphabet’s  research and development arm, X, announced that two projects, Loon and Wing, would become independent companies within Alphabet. 

This slight surge in news reminded us that it’s been nearly three years since Google blew up its entire corporate structure to form a new parent company: Alphabet.

The shake-up was intended to help all of its businesses operate more efficiently, a move CEO Larry Page was working on for years as a secret project he called “Javelin.”

This move also allowed Page to step back from day-to-day operations to “focus on the bigger picture.”

Now, Alphabet is a massive corporation that encompasses everything from internet-beaming hot air balloons to self-driving cars to Google Cloud. 

This seemed like a good time to revisit how Alphabet is structured. 

SEE ALSO: Alphabet says 2 of its ambitious side projects are ready for the big leagues

SEE ALSO: A Wall Street analyst says Google has 2 different choices for its car spinoff, and one of them could make Waymo a $180 billion company

Google officially became Alphabet in October, 2015, with the hope of allowing businesses units to operate independently and move faster. Google cofounder Larry Page is the CEO of the umbrella company, Alphabet.

Alphabet is divided into two main units: Google and Other Bets. Other Bets is best known for its “moonshot” R&D unit, X, but it also houses several other companies. Let’s start with the smaller companies under Other Bets.

Alphabet’s Access division includes Google Fiber, which launched in Kansas City in 2012 and expanded to about 9 cities. Fiber offers extremely fast high-speed internet (up to 1G) and some TV. It’s billed as an alternative to traditional cable companies. It currently has about 200,000 subscribers.

Source: Business Insider

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