Some things are just too good to last, and we can hardly think of something better than free Internet. While Kansas City enjoyed the privilege of being the first to get Google Fiber, it’s also the first to lose it.
To be perfectly honest, the service was not completely free, as Google require a rather expensive one-time installation fee of $300. However, Fiber – now answering directly to Alphabet – will make some changes that can be both bad and good news for Kansas.
The installation fee will be waived, according to recent reports, in exchange for a monthly subscription. And here’s the good news: the new internet connection comes with faster speeds.
Two options will be made available to Kansans, depending on how things turn out later in the year. Firstly, they can opt for Fiber 100, which comes with 100 Mbps download and upload speeds for $50 a month.
Second, is a still free service that Google will make available only to people living in public housing. This option is part of the US Housing and Urban Development collaboration with Google, a partnership announced last February. Interestingly, Kansas was, again, named the first city to test the new program.
Even though a company representative has confirmed – off the record – that the price change is, indeed, true, Alphabet has yet to disclose the reasons behind it. One of the more obvious reasons would be the need to attract more subscribers.
As it is, the promise of free internet wasn’t enough to compensate for the $300 installation fee; customers thought it was too hefty a price to be paid. So Access – the Alphabet departments dealing with Fiber – is under pressure to make the service really profitable.
After Google’s search engine, Fiber is the most expensive unit under Alphabet, so bringing in revenue is non-negotiable. And maybe the upcoming change is not so bad after all.
There are some upsides to switching to a monthly subscription. The version with free Internet only offered users 5 Mbps speeds, which is significantly less than the new 100 Mbps rate. The latter is exponentially faster and in line with the offerings of other Internet providers.
Fiber also provides other options, such as a super-fast gigabit Internet for $70 a month, and bundled TV service for $130 monthly.
Kansas City Fiber subscribers have been notified in a letter that they can keep their free Internet service until May 19 only. After this date, they can switch to a monthly subscription or give up on Google Fiber.
Image Source: Digital Trends