Google Fiber is phasing out its lower-priced 100 Mbps internet access plan, opting to offer only the core gigabit-speed plan to new users. Google announced the decision yesterday, saying customers had “caught on to our early vision” for super-fast internet. The 100 Mbps option cost $50 per month, while the 1,000 Mbps alternative actually doesn’t cost much more; it’s remained at $70 per month (with no data cap) since Google Fiber launched in 2012.
That’s a pretty good deal, although, as we’ve written before, Google Fiber’s ambitions are a lot more modest than they used to be. So the news applies to a pretty small percentage of Americans. Fiber scaled back its rollouts in the mid-’00s and had to pull out of Louisville, Kentucky earlier this year, following problems with its cable installations beneath the city’s roads.
Google’s announcement of this new plan doesn’t hint at any major strategic changes, beyond wanting a slightly higher payout from each subscriber and believing that gigabit internet is more attractive now than it was several years ago. “Even if you don’t think you need a gig now, we think you will in the very near future: Internet usage in U.S. households is growing exponentially. With a gig, we’ll give you plenty of room to grow,” it says.
Fiber service is currently available in parts of 18 metro areas: Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; Huntsville, Alabama; Kansas City, Missouri; Miami, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; Oakland, California; Orange County, California; Provo, Utah; San Antonio, Texas; San Diego, California; San Francisco, California; Salt Lake City, Utah; Seattle, Washington; and The Triangle, North Carolina.