Maybe it’s time to cut the cord.
The cost of Google Fiber’s TV package is going up again. A standard cable-like package with the company’s ultra-fast consumer internet connection will spike by $20 a month beginning in July. Internet-only rates remained unchanged.
In email notices pushed to customers this week in the Kansas City market, the company said the cost of internet and TV, without premium channels, will rise to $140 a month for those now paying $120 for a single TV box. The cost of additional channels such as HBO, Showtime or special sports packages will not change.
For new customers, the same service will start at $160 a month.
It’s difficult to compare the cost of Google Fiber to competitors such as Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable) or AT&T because the other companies offer a wider range of rates, introductory specials and charge differently for set-top boxes. Broadly speaking, their rates are similar, although Spectrum doesn’t offer gigabit-speed internet connections and AT&T’s gigabit connections aren’t available to all customers.
Google Fiber blamed the price increase on the cost of buying programming.
“Since we launched in 2012, we’ve needed to adjust the price of our TV plans to reflect these increased programming costs,” the company said.
The company had difficulty after its launch in Kansas City, and a handful of markets that followed, adding the channels to its lineup that TV customers had come to expect. It took years, for instance, to include AMC, home to popular shows such as “The Walking Dead” and “Breaking Bad.”
Industry analysts have said Google Fiber’s relatively small footprint across the country undercuts its ability to bargain with studios for their programming. AMC, for instance, could withstand stalemate negotiations with Google Fiber. But failing to come to terms with Spectrum or Comcast would pose a significant loss in potential revenue.
Google Fiber’s fees for gigabit internet alone remain at $70 a month — the same as when the service launched in 2012.