Google Fiber to offer internet-only service in Louisville, San Antonio, plans to raise TV rates

Google Fiber (Google)
Google Fiber has been less than forthcoming with potential customers regarding deployment timelines.

When Google Fiber eventually rolls out its FTTH service in Louisville and San Antonio, customers will only be able to get an internet connection, but no video service, marking the latest in various changes at the fledgling provider.

Google Fiber has yet to reveal exactly when it will begin offering its 1 Gbps service in these two cities. In the other cities where Google Fiber operates as a provider, it offers a bundle of home internet and TV service.

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Like Verizon and other broadband providers, Google Fiber service provider said in a blog post that it is also seeing more of its customers forgoing traditional linear TV in favor of online options like Netflix and Hulu to get their content over an internet connection.

“If you’ve been reading the business news lately, you know that more and more people are moving away from traditional methods of viewing television content,” said Cathy Fogler, head of sales and marketing for Access at Google Fiber, in a blog post. “Customers today want to control what, where, when and how they get content. They want to do it their way, and we want to help them.”

The service provider has not indicated if it would adopt similar plans in other markets.  

“For our existing markets with TV as a part of their product offerings, nothing is changing—although more and more of you are choosing internet-only options from Google Fiber,” Fogler said. “We’ve seen this over and over again in our Fiber cities.”

However, it appears that Google Fiber is going to raise video rates in several other markets.

Beginning this December, according to a report in The Charlotte Observer, the service provider will raise gigabit internet and TV service bundles in Charlotte by $20. This rate hike will raise bundled service prices from $130 per month to $150 per month.

Unsurprisingly, Google Fiber justified the rate increase due to content costs.

“The cost of providing TV programming continues to rise,” the company said in an email notifying customers of the $20 rate increase.

These moves come after Google Fiber has been less than forthcoming with potential customers regarding deployment timelines.

In Kansas City, various customers that have been on Google Fiber’s waiting list for service since 2015 were informed that their order had been canceled.

According KSHB in Kansas City, which spoke to customers affected by Google Fiber’s decision, the company did not provide a clear reason for not installing the service.

Over the past year, Google Fiber has been plagued with a revolving management door as two presidents left the company, layoffs and higher-than-expected fiber deployment costs.    

The high costs of network deployment prompted Google Fiber to pivot its focus toward using millimeter-wave wireless facilities.

Regardless of its setbacks, the service provider maintains that it existing network deployments, including Kansas City, will proceed.