Google to Kansas City: Goodbye Free Fiber

Whether you like Google Fiber, already have a great Internet plan, or have no interest in switching over, you have to admit that the free Internet Google offers in some cities is a pretty good deal for those that know to ask about it.

It’s also plausible that Google’s free Fiber might have been more of a promotion than a permanent fixture of its service. Already, Google is starting to roll out Fiber in cities without any accompanying free tier. And, now, Google is officially rolling back the free fiber in one city.

According to a report from Recode, Google is officially ending its free Fiber service in Kansas City—Google Fiber’s first market, we note. Those on the free tier have until May 19 to use the service. After that, they’ll have to pony up a minimum payment of of $50 (monthly) for Google’s 100 Mbps Fiber service. (To the company’s credit, that’s a lot faster than the five Mbps users got on the free tier.)

Google’s move also comes with one added benefit for those considering switching to Fiber. Pay the monthly fee, and you won’t be charged a service fee to get Fiber up-and-running at your location (with a one-year contract). On the free service, which is still available in some of Google Fiber’s markets, those looking to subscribe have to pay a one-time installation fee of $300.

(Google’s Fiber 100 tier in Kansas City gets you two Mbps for every dollar you spend, which isn’t as good a deal as its Fiber 1000 tier, which gets you around 14 Mbps per dollar. Google also still offers a Fiber 1000 + TV service in Kansas City as well, which costs $130 per month.)

The company is still planning to go forward with its plan to give residents of public housing free Fiber connectivity, as part of its participation in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s ConnectHome initiative. It has already given around 1,300 Kansas City residents free Fiber connectivity across nine separate properties, and it would be fair to assume that Google has more to go.

“For far too many low-income families, and especially for low-income children, connecting to the Web remains just an aspiration. We’re helping to change that through ConnectHome,” said U.S. Housing Secretary Julian Castro in February.

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