Google Fiber is cutting the cable cord for its customers, whether they want it or not, and ending traditional TV service in Charlotte and the Raleigh-Durham area on Sept. 30, the company recently announced.
Google Fiber said it is making the change so it can focus on Internet service, while giving customers the option to switch to streaming TV services to pick up their favorite channels.
Google Fiber customers will receive an upgraded whole-home Google WiFi mesh system for its Internet service.
And in place of their TV boxes, people will get a Chromecast device with Google TV that streams content from services like YouTube TV (which is also owned by Google) or other services like fuboTV, Sling or Philo, and available apps such as Netflix and Spotify. Customers need separate subscription for those services. The device also has a section for live TV channels.
It is up to the customer to install the new devices, although they can contact Google Fiber if they need assistance. Some people on social media sites like Nextdoor have already voiced concerns about installing the product themselves.
The upgrade for the Internet service is free, according to a recent company announcement.
Why Google Fiber is making the change
Google Fiber is an Internet service provider owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet. It’s available in 16 metro areas across the country, including Charlotte and the the Raleigh area in North Carolina, according to company spokeswoman, Sunny Gettinger.
Google Fiber did not disclose its customer numbers.
The change is only being made in Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, and Orange County, California, Gettinger said. However, the company has not offered TV service to new customers since February 2020, according to a Google Fiber blog post from February.
In that post, the company said that it decided to focus on providing better Internet services. “Customers today just don’t need traditional TV,” the blog post read.
Since traditional TV streaming asks customers to pay for all channels instead of only ones that they watch, the company presented the transition as a low-priced option, in an email sent to customers last month. In December 2019, Google Fiber raised cable TV rates for its Charlotte customers.
While Google Fiber will no longer offer cable TV services after September, its Internet service remains unchanged.
Customers will pay the current $70 per month for the upgraded Internet services, which offers up to 1,000 Mbps upload and download with no data caps, Getting said.