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Gigabites: An Unexpected Gig Gift

Who knew that gigabit service could lower your broadband bill?

Mari Silbey

October 21, 2016

3 Min Read
Gigabites: An Unexpected Gig Gift

TGIF. In today's Gigabites edition, proof emerges that gigabit service is good for your broadband bill, Tarana Wireless wins praise for its gigabit technology, Twin Lakes launches a new gigabit service in Tenn. and more.

  • Who needs a gigabit anyway? Well it turns out that even if you're not planning to buy up every virtual reality application coming to market, there's still a very good reason to hope gigabit broadband makes it to your neighborhood. A new study by the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council finds that when a city gets gigabit service, the cost for other broadband speed tiers goes down.

    In the top 100 US markets, the FTTH Council reports that the price for broadband speed tiers of 100 Mbit/s or more drops by about 25% when there's also a gigabit service on offer. That percentage equates to about $27 per month, and it goes even higher when more than one gigabit service is available. According to the Council, when there are two gigabit providers in a region, the average price of secondary speed tiers drops in the range of 34% to 37%, or $57 to $62 per month.

    The difference in fees gets smaller with lower-speed broadband packages, but even those lower service tiers see an advantage. At speeds of at least 25 Mbit/s, the impact of gigabit competition pushes prices down between $13 and $18 per month.

For more gigabit coverage and insights, check out our dedicated Gigabit/Broadband content channel here on Light Reading.

  • Fixed wireless broadband is undoubtedly a hot topic right now as service providers look to deploy gigabit speeds on a wider scale. And even though there are plenty of companies experimenting with the technology, some stand out more than others. This week, FierceWireless recognized Tarana Wireless Inc. in the industry because of several differentiating characteristics. For one, Tarana's technology doesn't require a line of sight for transmission. Two, the Santa Clara, Calif., company is using sub-6 GHz spectrum, unlike other fixed wireless companies using high-band or millimeter wave spectrum. And three, Tarana reportedly is already working with a tier-one operator and says a major deployment is on the horizon. Further news on that front, however, will likely have to wait until at least next year.

    • Meanwhile back in the current timeline, Chattanooga isn't the only Tenn. city getting gigabit service anymore. Most recently, the service provider Twin Lakes announced it has launched gigabit broadband in the Twin Lakes region. The ISP is a cooperative that's invested $60 million to build its own fiber network. Twin Lakes says that half of its members will have access to the gigabit service by the end of the year.

    • And finally, in case you missed it, Light Reading reported this week on some disagreements taking place in the world of next-generation PON technology. While some service providers are pushing development of NG-PON2, others are content to move forward with existing XGS-PON technology as an interim step... and vendors find themselves caught in the middle. (See Service Provider Split Emerges Over NG-PON2 Upgrade.)

      Light Reading also wrapped up a series this week on how cable companies are upgrading their networks to meet growing bandwidth demand. The fourth installment examines the early decisions the cable industry is facing as it transitions legacy infrastructure to new virtualized networking systems. (See Cable's Upgrade Moment – Part IV.)

      — Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Mari Silbey

Senior Editor, Cable/Video

Mari Silbey is a senior editor covering broadband infrastructure, video delivery, smart cities and all things cable. Previously, she worked independently for nearly a decade, contributing to trade publications, authoring custom research reports and consulting for a variety of corporate and association clients. Among her storied (and sometimes dubious) achievements, Mari launched the corporate blog for Motorola's Home division way back in 2007, ran a content development program for Limelight Networks and did her best to entertain the video nerd masses as a long-time columnist for the media blog Zatz Not Funny. She is based in Washington, D.C.

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