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Hey Seattle, want a gigabit connection? That’ll be $80

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Gigabit Squared, the company that’s working with the city of Seattle to light up the city’s dark fiber has announced pricing, and that the service will be available next year. A gigabit connection will cost $80 plus a $350 connection fee (unless you sign up for a full year of service). That’s $10 more than Google charges in Kansas City, and about $15 more than what I pay for 30Mbps downstream/10Mbps upstream cable broadband here in Austin, Texas.

From the Gigabit Squared blog post:

Gigabit Squared today unveiled residential pricing for the ultra-high-speed fiber-to-the-home broadband network it plans to launch locally in 2014. The Gigabit Squared fiber network will initially be made available to neighborhoods located within the West Campus District, First Hill, Capitol Hill and Central Area of Seattle as part of a program called Gigabit Seattle.

Here are the three service plans detailed by the Gigabit Squared blog post:

  • Free service at speeds of 5 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream (its comparable to traditional DSL speeds) for five years. After 60 months renters or owners can convert to a 10 Mbps download/10 Mbps upload service plan for only $10 per month. However, there is a $350 installation charge, but it transfers to new home owners or renters.
  • A medium tier offer symmetrical 100 Mbps service for $45 per month. As with the gigabit service, the $350 connection fee is waived if people sign a one-year contract.
  • A superfast gigabit tier with symmetrical gigabit per second speeds for $80 per month.

That’s a price plan that will undercut the cable providers — such as Comcast, which is the dominant cable provider in the Seattle area — on the 100 Mbps side and make the gigabit service look reasonable enough that early adopters are likely to sign up. For details on the planned network roll out (including the Wi-Fi component) check out this post I wrote in December.

17 Responses to “Hey Seattle, want a gigabit connection? That’ll be $80”

  1. Travis Tipton Hayes

    This is a god send! I lived around 14th & Spring for 5 years, I had Broadstripe, and the cable company before that. I was over charged multiple times because they could not do simple math, they could not keep my service up nor my DVR working, Any modem that was not theirs it did not work and forget trying to add a wireless router. We suffered for years and fought with the city to do better or else. I ended up just using the network at school and various coffee shops, that seemed to be key. I didn’t have a problem once I dumped the cable company. Wish I could get fiber here in Pullman.

  2. quest1onmark

    $45 per month for 100 Mbps roughly matches the cost at Comcast’s entry into the Seattle broadband market when it took over AT&T broadband. Although speed has increased since then for Comcast customers, price is slowly creeping up as well.

    Broadband companies (including Comcast and CenturyLink) seem to be more intent on muddying the waters about the price for broadband service by offering an endless littany of package deals and with teaser rates for new customers.

    I, for one, hope that Gigabit squared can survive on the rates quoted in this article, and continue to expand its service area over time.

  3. Is there a map of the area covered? I remember a bunch of fiber being installed downtown maybe 10-15 years ago, but I doubt it’s in most the residential areas.

    Also, most multi-family buildings downtown probably have restrictions that prevent competition by this company. Maybe the wi-fi service would work for that situation????

  4. Madlyb

    Have I missed some major change in backhaul costs that allows this huge leap in throughput? I get they are taking advantage of existing dark fiber, but there are still significant plant costs to enable that fiber and the capacity on the backside for connecting all that new traffic, so what is the magic enabler?

    • Ian Littman

      Bandwidth has been dirt cheap in big cities for awhile now. Uncontested, uncongested backbone bandwidth costs low single digits or even sub-dollar per megabit depending on the provider, the POP and the commit (I’m sure these guys are all getting 1+ Gbit commits on 10G pipes).

      When you realize that usage won’t increase *that* much initially between a $80 50 Mbps Comcast user and a $80 gigabit^2 user, the bandwidth cost part of the equation ceases to be a real issue.

  5. This looks like another big scam where a few people in Gig get paid and nothing will ever work or scale. Where is the track record? Results to date?