1 Gbps for $20 a Month? That’s Cheap Broadband!

In the U.S., if you want a 50- to 100-Mbps connection, it is going to cost you plenty: about $105 with a triple play plan. On the other side of the planet, however, you can buy a 1 Gbps broadband connection for $20 a month, as long as you sign-up for a 24-month triple play contract with Hong Kong Broadband Network Limited, a division of local Internet service provider, City Telecom.

The same company had launched 100 Mbps to the home back in 2005. In February 2010, you could buy the 1 Gbps connection for $215 a month. According to the Akamai (s akam) State of the Internet report, at the end of 2010, Hong Kong was the fastest place in the world when ranked by average peak connection speeds of 37.9 Mbps.

The reason it can offer at such low prices is the low cost of passing each home with fiber — it’s about $200 per home. Hong King is an extremely dense environment, and that lowers the cost of the network buildout. At present, HKBN has about a million homes passed for its fiber network and is on target to hit 2 million homes passed by end of 2011.

In the U.S., there are a few pockets that will or do have access to low cost 1 Gbps fiber connectivity — the cities of Chattanooga, Tenn. and Kansas City, Kan., for example. Netflix (s nflx) CEO Reed Hastings in an interview with GigaOM said that fiber is the key to future Internet innovation.