New Gigabit Player Plans Debut

The gigabit movement is gaining momentum. Gigabit Squared, which plans to launch 1Gbit/s broadband service in six cities across the U.S., has now unveiled timing and pricing for its debut in Seattle sometime next year. For its top tier, the organization will offer symmetrical 1Gbit/s speeds for $80 per month. The next level down will include 100Mbit/s service for $45 per month. And the final tier will deliver free Internet connectivity for 60 months with speeds of 5Mbits/s downstream and 1Mbit/s upstream. There's also a $350 installation fee, but Gigabit Squared will waive the cost for subscribers who sign one-year contracts for 100Mbits/s service or faster speeds. Seattle's new Internet service provider says it will start selling broadband locally sometime in 2014. However, it gave no further details this week on the video service it plans to bundle with that broadband access. On the Gigabit Seattle website, the organization states that it will offer full television service, also starting in 2014. Yet there is no word so far on what that service might include or how it will be priced. As Google can attest, the devil is in the details. (See Google Gets More Active with TV Apps.) As for competition, Gigabit Seattle will go up against Comcast Corp., the dominant cable and broadband provider in the market. But it aims to undercut the cable giant on price at the 100Mbit/s level and deliver unique 1Gbit/s speeds in the region for a relatively reasonable $80 monthly fee. Gigabit Seattle intends to keep its costs down by lighting up existing dark fiber already deployed in the area. Perhaps like Google, Gigabit Squared has a shot at creating a viable cable alternative … at least in Seattle. (See also Google Fiber has a Shot as an Overbuilder.) — Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable
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