Gigabit Cities

US Internet Rolls Out 10Gig in Minneapolis

To all the gigabit naysayers who believe that no everyday Internet user truly needs a gig, US Internet has a message: You are wrong, 10 times over.

That's what the Minnetonka, Minn.-based ISP is signaling with its recent launch of 10 Gbit/s service for residents and small businesses in Minneapolis. Joe Caldwell, the outspoken co-CEO of US Internet Corp. , tells Light Reading that the rollout is meant to be a wakeup call to other service providers that the world is going to become increasingly bandwidth hungry, and that the industry had better step up.

"Someone had to go first. No one else was going to do it, because the math doesn't make sense," he says. "Someone had to lead the way. Someone that likes innovation and couldn't care less about the money -- someone half crazy -- had to do it."

What US Internet did was upgrade the electronics on its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network to make 10 Gbit/s service available to about 30,000 households and businesses in Minneapolis, with plans to connect another 30,000 by next summer. He considers the move to be a shot across the bow of larger service providers, noting that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts likely has never heard of US Internet but "should probably learn who I am."

"He's not worried about me because it's just a couple streets in Minneapolis. But eventually those streets become many more streets," Caldwell says. "This is a war. I can fire the first shot, but someone has to come with the cavalry."

Indeed, the efforts of entities like US Internet -- along with an ever-increasing number of regional telcos, cable operators, utilities and municipalities that are rolling out gigabit services in all sizes of communities across the US -- could potentially step up the pressure on larger providers to take the gigabit network competitive threat more seriously.

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

US Internet's ultra-high-bandwidth service comes with a hefty price tag of $399 per month, but Caldwell says the company has already had a few takers -- small business operators, computer guys "who have a couple racks of gear in their living room" or developers doing video or graphics development, he says. But he maintains that the company's 1 Gbit/s offering sets the standard for affordable Internet access.

"Our gig price is $65 -- that's 65 cents a meg," he says. "Now Minneapolis has the fastest and cheapest internet in the world. I just wish Verizon, AT&T and Google would follow my lead."

Caldwell maintains that today's gigabit networks -- and his company's 10Gig effort -- soon will be passé, particularly if applications development follows available network speeds.

"This is the first time ever that the applications are actually slower than the bandwidth -- but now people will build applications," he says. "If we fast forward, we'll be laughing about this. 10Gig will be slow in a couple years."

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

mhhf1ve 1/7/2015 | 5:11:16 PM
Can't wait until major US cities catch up... Now that the FCC is proposing 25Mbps as the minimum for "broadband"... maybe we'll see some better speeds -- but I doubt it'll happen in locations where there isn't much competition.

610Alpha 1/7/2015 | 11:10:01 AM
Article Correction In the article it says "Our gig price is $65 -- that's 65 cents a meg," either he was misquoted or he miscalculated.  $65/1000Mb = $0.065/Mb that is 6.5 cents a meg.  Which is even better in my opinion.

I really enjoy seeing pioneers not just going to the next step but two steps into the future.  I wish them the best and I hope this will cause the big companies to get off their duff and start providing higher bandwidth for lower prices like this company or other CLEC's are doing.

jasonmeyers 1/1/2015 | 9:18:23 AM
Re: 10G to the home The story does say they are offering 10Gig residential service for $399/month.
MarkC73 12/31/2014 | 7:02:42 PM
Re: 10G to the home Hmm, also took a look at the usage numbers you gave, I don't see that type of usage per capita on my networks, even taking into acount the CDN architecture and looking at fiber customers as we're talking about unhindered access (at the access), but I've only got a small slice of the pie.  Our customers are pretty well connected, but I'll keep an eye out or ask some counter parts at the next convention. 

Have a good New Year!

After-thought edit:  Well Fiber customers only have the ability to 'buy' whatever they want, but they can still 'buy' 10mbps access and cap out at peak as opposed to copper customers who sometime don't get the choice.  In anycase, I don't have the demographic diversity or the scale to really speak to any numbers nationally, but will keep an ear to the ground.
MarkC73 12/31/2014 | 6:51:51 PM
Re: 10G to the home Thanks Seven!  I still read the article as they will be offering 10G service to residential, though true the only pricing they gave was for 1G service in the LR article.  On another site the article quoted US I about $400 for 10G service.

But cost with standing, 10G is still a lot of bw for residential OTT unicast or not.  You could watch about 500 4K mpeg-4 streams simultaneously with 10G.  In 2 years, I see 1 Gig service becoming standard but not 10G, maybe more like how 1G is today.

I guess we'll see in time.
brooks7 12/31/2014 | 6:25:58 PM
Re: 10G to the home  

Just to put a bit of perspective on that for you...

10Gb/s (which is not actually what is being announced...they priced 1Gb/s) should mean that about every 100 homes should need a 10Gb/s link.  So a nice small city like Santa Rosa here might require 2 - 3 Tb/s for consumer traffic to exit the city.  Major backbones will require 100s of Tb/s.

Remember at the same time we will be deleting broadcast video and replacing it with OTT (all unicast).


MarkC73 12/31/2014 | 5:14:28 PM
10G to the home I doubt that 10G will be slow by 2017, especially to the home.  Maybe 1G and that will depend on wireless, in my opinion.  As wireless internet speeds increase and handsets get more compute and graphics that will be the driver content.  Granted it doesn't have to be 1G, but say everyone can get 100Mbps to their phone, then there will be content at those speeds.  Then you'll need a 1G connection at the home to support your family's devices and not eat up those not so free bits.

I'm willing to say that in the beginning of 2017 10G will not be slow to the home.
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