A Google subsidiary wants to bring its fiber-based Internet service to Colorado Springs next year if the company can reach an agreement with Colorado Springs Utilities to lease its planned network.
Google Fiber, owned by the parent company of Google Alphabet, would become the second tenant of the 2,000-mile network planned by utilities, which is expected to begin this summer and be available to its first residential customers in early next year. Ting Internet became the first tenant when it signed a 25-year lease at the end of last year, allowing utilities to accelerate construction for 15 to six years and helping offset some of the annual construction costs. up to $ 100 million.
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“We believe that the people there (Colorado Springs) have a strong demand for super-fast broadband service. We believe this is an environment where our service will be well received,” said Mark Strama, CEO of Google Fiber Expansion. . “We want affordable high-speed Internet access and we believe people will respond well to our offer. Colorado Springs Utilities accelerated the availability of high-speed Internet with this investment.
Brian Wortinger, director of the company’s fiber optic and telecommunications business, said “several” Internet service providers are interested in renting part of the network, but did not say how many or how many identify them. He hopes that the leases of sellers like Ting and Google will offset a “significant part”, if not fully offset, of the cost of building the network. The companies plan to solicit bids later this week from contractors who would build the network.
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“We look forward to reaching an agreement with all stakeholders” who want to offer Internet service to the utility network, Wortinger said. “We will evaluate each of them to see what best serves the interests of customers. We would like to have as many as possible to reach a (lease) because it reduces the cost of construction. The cost of building the network is substantial, but the cost of adding fiber for each tenant is much lower.
Utilities has been operating an internal fiber network for 30 years and is expanding this network to help it better control and deliver water and energy to its customers. The municipally owned company has signed leases with Ting and other Internet service providers to help pay for construction costs and make high-speed Internet service available to residential and business customers around the world. the city.
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Google Fiber has been providing fiber-based Internet service to 12 cities in nine states since the launch of the service in Kansas City, Missouri, and Provo, Utah a decade ago. The Internet unit expanded to nine more cities in four years before slowing its expansion in 2016, and earlier this year it added Des Moines, Iowa, its first new market in six years. The company also offers high-speed wireless Internet service to office buildings and apartment complexes in Denver and eight cities in more than six states.
The company began considering expansion about a year ago after spending five years focusing on operations in the top 11 cities, Strama said. About a year ago, Google Fiber began searching for potential expansion sites, including Colorado Springs. He said the company plans to hire “dozens of people” in Colorado Springs to handle installation, repair, sales, service and other functions for local customers.
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Texas-based Highlight Infrastructure is building fiber-optic networks in Colorado Springs and Fountain that will offer download and upload speeds of up to 100 gigabits per second. The company expects to connect its first customer in Colorado Springs in early May and begin construction on the Fountain network next week. The Colorado Springs Underline system would be in direct competition with Colorado Springs Utilities.
Google Fiber charges $ 70 a month for a 1 gigabit per second download and upload service and $ 100 a month for a 2 gigabit per second service at no additional monthly fee for a modem. Business rates are $ 100 for 1 gigabit per second service and $ 250 for 2 gigabit per second service. This rate is slightly lower than that of existing ISPs for a similar service, but $ 5 more than the cost of Underline service.
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“By introducing competition to the market, customers will get better prices and faster (Internet) speeds. This applies not only to our customers, but also to our competitors’ customers who will also get better prices and faster speeds.” , said Strama.