Good news if you’re from the Bay area: blazing fast broadband might just lie in your future. Yesterday, Sonic.net – the modestly sized, ISP that was chosen by Google to build a fiber network for Stanford University – announced plans to bring a fiber-optic network capable of 1 Gbps speeds to the city. Sonic already offers it in another city for just $70 a month (including unlimited domestic VOIP), and hey! The company doesn’t impose data caps either. Don’t get too excited yet, though – the company still has some big hoops to jump through to make it happen.
According to PC World, aside from the significant costs associated with rolling out new fiber to over 800,000 people, the biggest issue will be convincing the city to allow building permits for the 188 utility boxes needed to run the fiber around the city. AT&T is currently locked into an ongoing dispute with community leaders about its need to stain the city sidewalks with boxes in order to bring the high-speed U-Verse service to San Fran. (Admittedly, AT&T needed nearly four times as many boxes, at 728 total.) Sonic.net plans on taking a wait-and-see approach before bugging administrators to approve its permits.
Utility boxes can detract from the look of city sidewalks, but man, capless 1 Gbps speeds sound alluring (especially when a $70 internet plan from Comcast nets you only 25 Mbps). Are there any San Francisco natives reading this? What do you think?