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Do you spend you days and nights lusting after Verizon’s 50Mbps Fiber to the home service? Well if Internet access was like a game of poker, Hong Kong would see your Fios, and raise you another 950Mbps. Yes, you read that correctly. Citizens of Hong Kong can now subscribe to gigabit internet if they so choose. Of course speed comes at a price right? Wrong! 1Gbps fiber service from a scrappy new company called Hong Kong Broadband Network costs less than $26 per month on average. This leaves us not just jealous, but wondering, would this even be possible in North America?
According to The New York Times 1Gbps broadband speeds are not only possible here in North America, but all the major ISP’s know exactly what it would take to get us there. The problem? Motivation. Since most markets in North America are served by one cable, and one DSL provider, the telecom companies here have little incentive to build out much more expensive Fiber based networks. The cost of laying fiber could be easily monetized if multiple telecoms were willing to share the tab, but this type of partnership would require a massive intervention by the FCC, and they just don’t see that happening anytime soon.
Companies like Google, in partnership with Sonic.net will soon be offering gigabit service soon to thousands of American’s in select areas at “affordable prices”, but it remains to be seen when, if ever, the vast majority of North Americans will be offered a 1Gbps connections for anywhere near $26. Heck, at those speeds I could accidentally plow through my current bandwidth cap in about 5 minutes flat.