Technology

Google Fiber raises rates for TV subscriptions for new customers

People who sign up for combined TV and Internet service through Google Fiber after Monday will pay a higher price for service.
People who sign up for combined TV and Internet service through Google Fiber after Monday will pay a higher price for service. The Kansas City Star

New subscribers to Google Fiber’s top-end TV-and-Internet service will pay $10 more a month than those already hooked up to its fiber-optic network.

The company cited costs of programming and improvements to TV boxes and other devices in explaining the rate hike for future customers.

“We’re increasing our (price) to continue making those investments,” a company spokesperson said in an email.

Existing customers, along with those who have signed up for service but are still waiting for installation, will continue to pay $120 a month for a cable-like television subscription and Internet service. Those Internet connections promise speeds up to a gigabit per second — among the fastest available in the country to home consumers. New subscribers who sign up after Monday to the TV-and-Internet service will pay $130 a month plus taxes.

The price increase does not apply to people who buy only the gigabit Internet hookup for $70 a month or those who pay a $300 installation cost for otherwise free, but far slower, connections that deliver downloads of 5 megabits per second.

Google’s price increase comes amid an increasingly competitive market for TV and Internet service.

AT&T recently announced it would match Google’s Internet speeds and price — although customers must pay $30 a month more if they want to avoid ads directed at them based on their Web surfing behavior. AT&T also offers some popular channels — notably AMC, home to “The Walking Dead” and “Mad Men” — that Google lacks and includes HBO for the first three years of service.

Consolidated Communications, with fuller programming that more resembles AT&T’s, matches Google’s prices and Internet speeds. Like Google, it doesn’t track Internet habits.

Google is still rolling out its offerings across the Kansas City market and won’t sell in every neighborhood. AT&T’s footprint does not cover all of the market, and its ultrafast Internet will be sold in even more narrow areas. Consolidated covers only select parts of Johnson County.

To reach Scott Canon, call 816-234-4754 or send email to scanon@kcstar.com.

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