Whether or not Google
launched its Google Fiber
Internet service as a legitimate business venture or as a massive trolling measure to shake up the broadband market (as some believe), its effect has been evident in how ISP
s are competing.
Leveraging a partnership with the city of Seattle and its fiber optic network, Gigabit Squared (or “GB2”, for short) is rolling out “ultra high speed fiber” gigabit Internet service to several Seattle neighborhoods in 2014. The cost will be $80 per month, and with that subscription GB2 will waive the $350 construction fee.
That’s $10 more per month than Google’s gigabit Internet plan, but it’s significantly less than the $105 per month that Comcast
charges for its 105Mbps service, according to the Seattle Times. (GB2’s 100Mbps plan will cost $45 per month.)
Yet another competitor in the area, CondoInternet, which had the misfortune of losing out on the bid to partner with the city of Seattle, is promising $60 per month gigabit Internet in some of the same areas at some point in the future.
Gigabit Squared coverage map
It’s true that Gigabit Squared doesn’t pose a major threat to Comcast overall, and the latter will surely do plenty of business even in the Seattle area, but GB2 isn’t the only smaller provider pushing the boundaries of cost and speed. It’s only a matter of time before the combined competition of these smaller ISPs in various parts of the country trigger a shift in power in the market or else force the bigs to open their wallets and make some tactical acquisitions.