On Monday we noted that Google Fiber had quietly eliminated a “free” 5 Mbps option from its pricing lineup. Under that option, users could get a symmetrical 5 Mbps line for free after paying a $300 installation fee, which could be paid all at once — or in $10 monthly installments. Google Fiber appears to have moved away from the option after unveiling a plan to offer free, gigabit service to select low-income housing developments and departments in Google Fiber markets.
Unmentioned by Google however is the fact that the company will also now be offering a 25 Mbps option for $15 a month. That speed brings the tier in line with the FCC’s new definition of broadband.
Google isn’t talking much about the plan, and as a result most of the original stories discussing the death of the 5 Mbps tier failed to mention it. But Google Fiber confirmed to DSLReports.com that the tier will be going live in Kansas City soon, though only to select, low-income homes. These homes will be identified using Census and FCC data to help ensure connectivity to “places where relatively few people have home Internet access,” Google says.
There’s no mention of the new 25 Mbps tier on Google Fiber’s main pricing website, though DSLReports points out that Google Fiber’s support website now makes reference to the new, creatively-named “broadband plan.”
According to that website, the plan goes live in Kansas City on May 19th, 2016. Users can plug their address into the Google Fiber website to see if they qualify.