The State of Fiber Internet Service in America

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Many big, nationwide ISPs are raising prices without delivering a better product. Local ISPs across the nation are stepping up and promising more.

Fiber is slowly becoming more and more popular in homes and businesses across the United States. There has been a ton of press coverage of the Google Fiber project in Kansas City, much of that coverage being highlighted on this blog. Despite the slow growth, and the low barrier to entry that Google is providing its Internet customers, the sad reality is that getting access to most fiber optic cable providers is prohibitively expensive.

The current model for big name fiber providers nationwide isn’t to compete with one another with competitive pricing. Instead, companies have a gentleman’s agreement to not step into each other’s “territories” of coverage and service providing, so all parties can simply raise prices as they like because there is no other provider available. Prices are most consistently raised under the guise of “specialized services” and usage-based billing. Often this also ensures that the networks will never experience heavy traffic because users are trying to hold back and never rack up those usage fees.

It’s often difficult for other companies to get in the fiber game because the upfront costs are so high. That’s the genius behind a company as massive as Google getting a piece of the fiber provider pie. They have the resources to handle the expensive fees and then turn around and offer rock bottom prices to customers to simply grow their customer base. The unfortunate part is that Google doesn’t have the means or probably the interest to implement their model on a nationwide scale, so those in need of fiber connections elsewhere in the country simply have to wait for something better than the already established ISP big wigs.

Thankfully those small niches do exist. Not to toot our own horn, but Fibernet works hard to offer affordable fiber rates as an alternative for those who don’t want to sign on with impersonal, non-local service providers. It’s a small community of small providers, but the service area is growing, as is the number of those willing to foot the upfront bill to provide better service to friends and family in neighborhoods across America.

To read more about Google Fiber, check out our blog post about the aftermath of the Google Fiber install in Kansas City.

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