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Google Fiber's 'free' Internet service to disappear soon in Kansas City

Kansas City: Google Fiber called its low-end Internet service free but it was not actually free. Nonetheless, it was a good bargain but it is now set to go away.

Customers who had signed up for the Internet hook-ups can keep the deal - $300 the first year and nothing the following six years for speeds of up to 5 megabits per second. The service was not liked by many because it offers slow connections that produce frustrating buffering on streaming services. But it is much cheaper than almost anything else available in the country.

But customers in eastern Johnson County, where the sign-ups has been opened up by Google Fiber, aren't being offered the bargain. The bargain is also missing from the latest posting on Google Fiber's sign-up page. Actual installation in that area will be based on the speed of the rollout of the company, more than a year away.

The cheapest option for customers in eastern Johnson County will be $50 a month for speeds of up to 100 megabits per second. The speed is much faster than the national average for home service. For speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second, or 1,000 megabits, the company will charge $70 a month. A basic cable package with the gigabit Internet is for $130 a month.

Google Fiber had posted a blog in February hinting that the change would be coming. "More people should have access to fast Internet," Google Fiber said on its blog. "This year, we're exploring new ways to make that happen. In addition to bringing free gigabit Internet to select public housing, we'll introduce a new affordable Internet option in some cities - a low-cost broadband connection that's fast enough to make video calls and stream HD content."