Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Washington Post: This is what a competitive broadband market looks like

As Seattle wonders its way toward creating a fiber based municipal utility, other places around the country are working on getting similar service.

The Washington Post has a pretty good report today on a competitive broadband market. 
Clearly, this story is not set in Seattle. 

Please note, in their example in Austin, Texas, the commercial provider is making its offer in "seven neighborhoods" and not city-wide.
What we want to avoid is having a digital divide, with some neighborhoods having cheap gigabit speed and others having expensive, spotty, and sub-broadband level service.

From the report:

When Google said it was going to bring its high-speed fiber optic service to Austin, it probably didn't expect to touch off a race to switch on the cheapest, fastest Internet service around. But within a year of announcing the move, AT&T followed suit. And now a third company has beaten them both.

Grande Communications, a 10-year-old provider based a half hour away in San Marcos, Tex., is rolling out full gigabit fiber to seven neighborhoods in west Austin next week. Gigabit service customers will benefit from speeds up to 100 times the national average. The company's service won't require a contract, doesn't impose data caps and vows to obey net neutrality principles. At $65 a month, it'll be more affordable than either Google or AT&T's offerings — and it'll come with fewer strings attached.

Read the rest here:

Washington Post: This is what a competitive broadband market looks like