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If Comcast’s 105Mbps service costs $199.95 per month (in select markets), then naturally 1Gbps service should cost around $2,000 a month right? Well according to scrappy independent ISP sonic.net, $69.99 sounds much more reasonable, and they plan to put their money where their mouth is. The company has committed to rolling out 1Gbps fiber service to around 700 homes in the Sebastopol California area, and will study the results over the next few months to prove that its possible to offer such a high tier of service for $70, and still remain profitable.
According to Dane Jasper, Sonic.net's CEO, "Honestly, only as those wrap up will we have a complete picture of the economic model". "But I believe that fast service for a low cost is possible."
Sonic.net has been around since 1994, but fist made national headlines when it partnered up with Google to roll out fiber service for Stanford University on the search engines dime. And while the ISP has a long history of standing up for consumers, this represents the first solo attempt by the indie ISP to go straight after users with anything faster than 40Mbps DSL.
Accomplishing this ambitious task will require the company to manually string its own fiber optic cable to homes along existing hydro poles, and monetize the costs over several years. Even if you don’t live in the Sebastopol area, we’ll be keeping our eyes on this one. Sonic’s CEO rightly points out that the US market is long overdue for a truly disruptive pricing model for broadband Internet, and hope is on the way.