Its $70 gigabit internet access has been the biggest hook for Google Fiber, but there has usually been a far more frugal option: where you could get free 5Mbps service if you were willing to pay a construction fee. Google has quitely rolled out its free tier in Kansas City, it’s the first Fiber area, and nevertheless, been replaced it with a 100Mbps option that costs $50 per month. Unless you’re in a low-income arean you’ll have to pay up in Kansas City. Anyone using the free tier has until May 19th to say they want to keep it live.
Thus far the company hasn’t explained anything about the move, but customers in Austin and Provo still have that choice; Atlanta never had it to start with. Also, this doesn’t change Google’s plan in offering free service in low-income areas. While Recode suggests that this could reflect a broader change in strategy. Whereas, Google has a huge competition from incumbent carriers — it may have to offer a fast-but-affordable selection to get those customers for whom the gigabit option is either too costly or sheer overkill.
On top of that, dropping tthe installation cost that waived for everyone if they commit to one year, will increase the changes that Google Fiber will reach apartments, where any kind of initial fee might be too horrible. Whatever this becomes, Google is clearly beyond the days when Fiber was merely an experiment in very high-speed internet access, that it has to be a money-maker now.
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