Gigabit Cities

Small ISP Expands Seattle Gigabit Network

While the City of Seattle struggles to find the right business model to get ultra-high-speed broadband for its residents, a small ISP has broadened its own efforts to supply gigabit-level services.

CondoInternet , a subsidiary of Wave Broadband , passes 20,000 condos and apartments in Seattle with its fiber network and has been providing gigabit capabilities to those residents since 2008. The entity, which also provides high-speed connectivity to businesses and data centers, will now expand its fiber-to-the-home network to offer symmetrical gigabit pipes to all residents of Seattle's Eastlake neighborhood, starting in December. According to Amy Thompson, CondoInternet's director of marketing, the 2013 acquisition by Wave helped fuel the expansion.

Seattle as a whole can use the gigabit boost. The city partnered last year with the now-defunct Gigabit Squared -- which also bailed on a project in Chicago -- to pursue buildout of a municipal network. CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) began implementing 1Gbit/s service in the market last August, and according to a spokesperson it is available in some areas now and will be accessible to tens of thousands of customers in 2015. (See New Gigabit Player Plans Debut and CenturyLink to Expand Gigabit Service to 16 Cities.)

For the latest on Gigabit Cities, visit Light Reading's broadband/FTTx content channel. And watch for forthcoming details on Light Reading's Gigabit Cities Live event, to be held in May 2015 in Atlanta.

Like other smaller regional providers -- including some municipal utilities -- CondoInternet is trying to keep its offering simple and affordable, foregoing bundled services and contracts and charging $80 a month for a gigabit pipe to homes with the hope of giving more Seattle residents better access to applications, Thompson says.

"We're looking at the customer experience. We're not going to compete on price," she says. "For us, it's about everything working and people not having to think about it."

— Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, Light Reading

jasonmeyers 11/12/2014 | 3:10:57 PM
Re: Seattle on the Gigabit Map I wonder too. It suspect they'd be a bit gun-shy after the Gigabit Squared experience. But maybe they'll find a more reputable partner and continue to pursue it. I'm working on talking to the Seattle CTO to try and do a follow-up on their plans.  
KBode 11/12/2014 | 3:03:04 PM
Re: Seattle on the Gigabit Map I was surprised by that as well during visits. Much like Silicon Valley, you'd expect that the networks would have come along for the ride along with other technology innovation. I'd wonder if the smattering of 1 Gbps deployments is enough to have the city ease off their now decade-old flirtations with building their own network?
jasonmeyers 11/12/2014 | 1:24:49 PM
Seattle on the Gigabit Map CondoInternet's expansion doesn't substantially raise the number of customers passed (only about another 2.400, according to Thompson), but it and CenturyLink's rollout should help raise awareness of and demand for gigabit services. If the city is successful in finding a network partner (could that partner be Wave/CondoInternet?), Seattle could become a gigabit hotbed in no time. Given its tech heritage, I'm a little surprised it isn't already. 
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