Fiber Optic Internet Service Coming to Seattle

Update December 2016 – CenturyLink, WaveG and Frontier Communications have offered fiber-optic based Internet service for a while. Service is not available in all neighborhoods and towns. Use the links, above, to check availability in your neighborhood. I’m not aware of any smaller players who are offering such service.

Update: January 2014 – Seattle’s deal with Gigabit Squared has fallen apart amidst unpaid bills and assorted allegations. The Puget Sound Business Journal has this report on the situation.

Gigabit Squared, a new Internet Service Provider is coming to Seattle in 2014. They will be offering Internet service over fiber optic lines and speeds that are between 10-1000 times faster than currently offered by Comcast, CenturyLink, Frontier (formerly Verizon) and Megapath (formerly Covad). I find this an exciting development. While faster speeds are always good, I’m more excited about the prices, which are a great value. Gigabit Squared’s Internet service will be faster and less expensive than Comcast’s service. I think this will be helpful competition to introduce to the marketplace.

Initially, service will only be offered in 14 neighborhoods around Seattle. Service to many of these neighborhoods is scheduled to be available starting early 2014.

Gigabit Squared indicates that they will offer 3 plans to residential customers which appear below. Plan B immediately jumps out at me as a great value. Currently Comcast customers typically pay between $45-65 per month (depending upon bundle discounts) and  receive speed around 12-20 Mbps (Megbits per second) download speeds and upload speeds between 1-6 Mbps. I mention Comcast’s speeds and prices because I tend to find them a better value than DSL service packages from CenturyLink or Frontier.

Initially, Gigabit Squared’s Plan A looked too good to be true. Free Internet service for 5 years and then $10 per month for 10 Mbps download speeds and 10 Mbps upload speeds. Then, you learn that there is a $350 installation fee. If you amortize this fee over the first 5 years of service you see that it works out to $5.84/month. That’s a great value. too.

While I think Comcast can offer speeds around 300 Mbps under certain circumstances, the fastest speed they currently list on their Business Internet Service web page is 100 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload. Their price is $370/month. This makes Gigabit Squared’s Plan C of 1000 Mbps download and 1000 Mbps upload for $80, an amazing value if your home or business needs this much speed.

I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on Gigabit Squared’s Internet Service offerings.

Plan A:

  • 5 Mbps download speeds and 1 Mbps upload speeds.
  • No charge for 60 months.
  • 5/1 Mbps services are transferrable to new renters or owners.
  • After 60 months renters or owners can convert to a 10 Mbps download/10 Mbps upload service plan for only $10 per month.
  •  $350 installation fee.

Plan B:

  • 100 Mbps download/100 Mbps upload for $45 per month.
  • No installation charge with one year contract.

Plan C:

  • 1000 Mbps download/1000 Mbps upload for $80 per month.
  • No installation charge with one year contract.

2 Comments

  1. Tim, I too am VERY excited about the pricing plans and service offerings from Gigabit Squared. Would you agree that the 1Gbps might currently be more bandwidth than can be fully utilized. In other words the bottle neck would now be at the server end. Apple for example wouldn’t be able to upload a new OS to us as fast as we could download it. Though for a business that needed to have many computer connections then 1Gbps would be an attractive option. I see 100Gbps as the sweet spot for the residential market. In fact, I’ve already signed up on the waiting list. I’m just outside a service area, but there is some wiggle room so I’ve been told.

    • Yes, in most cases I can’t see most small businesses needing 1 Gbps. That said, if a business has 100 or 500 users than that’s a different situation. Yes, alone, Apple’s server or Amazon’s server can’t send data fast enough to fill a 1 Gbps connection, but if 500 employees are busy downloading updates or watching video then together they might utilize most of that connection. Another example I can think of is video-production companies with offices in, say, San Francisco and Seattle. If each office has 1 Gbps fiber optic connections and they are each uploading a few video files to the other office’s servers, then they might also utilize most of a 1 Gbps connection. Of course, once speeds like this are available, I’m sure enterprising people will invent ways for people to utilize it.

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