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Google Fiber freebie comes to an end in Kansas City

The ultrafast broadband service will now set users back a minimum of $50 a month.

Google Fiber boosters in Kansas City weren't short on signage.

Marguerite Reardon/CNET

Google has axed the free option for Fiber users in Kansas City, Missouri.

In 2011, Kansas City was the first area Google delivered the high-speed, fiber-optic broadband service. Available in only a few cities in the United States still, Google Fiber offers speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps, aka gigabit Internet, which is far higher than traditional broadband.

To entice customers, the company used to offer a free service, with up to 5 Mbps download and upload speeds, as long as installation was paid for.

However, as Google Fiber expands and demand stays strong, this option has been quietly removed.

Those who wish to sign up for Fiber in Kansas City now must pay a minimum of $50 per month, with a waived installation fee in return for a one-year contract, and they can expect speeds of up to 100 Mbps. Alternatively, Google is also offering speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps and 1TB cloud storage for $70 per month.

As noted by Mashable, Provo, Utah, and Austin, Texas, still offer the "Basic Internet" free option -- for now.

Google Fiber is scheduled to arrive in Atlanta next, where it seems customers will not have the free 5 Mbps option, according to the project's page.

The infrastructure and cabling required for the broadband service are currently under construction in Salt Lake City; in Nashville, Tennessee; and in Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. San Antonio is still at the design and planning stage.

In February, Google announced plans to bring Google Fiber to San Francisco. The city's officials are in talks with the tech giant to use existing, dormant cabling for the service rather than starting from scratch, which will encourage a more rapid deployment of the service than can otherwise be expected.

This story originally appeared at ZDNet under the headline "Google's free Fiber option in Kansas City vanishes."