Google says it will no longer offer free Google Fiber internet in Kansas City, Missouri.
As of May 19, customers in the first US city to get Fiber will no longer be able to sign up for the no-charge 5Mbps service, according to a new set of pricing plans.
Those who are already on the free plan will be able to keep their service through the duration of their contract. New customers will now pay a $50 monthly fee for the 100Mbps Fiber 100 plan or $70 per month for the 1Gbps Fiber 1000 service.
The Free Basic internet plan allows customers to get service without a monthly charge, provided they pony up for the $300 construction fee charged for stringing the fiber lines out to their home. The free plan is still being offered in other markets.
Google will, however, offer a low-cost service for those living in poor neighborhoods without broadband internet access. The Kansas City Star says that a $15 service will be introduced in "select" parts of the city where internet access is scarce. The areas will be selected by Google based on FCC and Federal Census data on internet connectivity.
Google also offers free gigabit service for public housing projects in Kansas City and other cities where it offers the fiber service. The company said it will continue that program.
The new plans come as Google continues to expand the Google Fiber service into new cities. Earlier this year, the Chocolate Factory said it would consider bringing Fiber to Louisville, Kentucky, much to the chagrin of rival cable companies, who have sued to prevent Google from laying its cables on their poles. ®