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.)
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