Google sure isn’t wasting any time when it comes to an expansion of its ultrafast Internet service Google Fiber, but then again, neither are other ISPs — even those in rural Vermont.
Vermont telephone company VTel, for instance, is prepared to offer over 17,500 homes in the area the opportunity to subscribe to a gigabit Internet service for roughly half the price of Google Fiber in the greater Kansas City area. That works out to $35 per month for ultrafast Internet that’s about a hundred times faster than what the average ISPs currently offer across the country. The Wall Street Journal reports that about 600 homes have already signed up for the faster service.
“Google has really given us more encouragement,” VTel CEO Michel Guite told the WSJ. Google Fiber made headlines over the past few months after announcing its plans to expand into Austin, Texas, and more recently into Provo, Utah, where it will take over municipal ISP iProvo. Other big broadband Internet providers have responded to the threat of competition by offering free city Wi-Fi and promising to launch their own gigabit Internet services. Clearly, Google Fiber is causing a stir in the business of Internet service, and if VTel’s announcement is any indication, it’s for the best.
VTel was able to build out its own gigabit fiber infrastructure thanks to $94 million in grants from the federal government, which is encouraging high-speed Internet service providers to move into areas that normally wouldn’t make financial sense for the big companies like Time Warner Cable, Comcast, and AT&T Uverse.
Guite did warn that it remains to be seen whether the company can build a sustainable business out of its Internet Fiber expansion. As we’ve seen with Provo, it’s actually pretty difficult to maintain a successful ISP. However, if things don’t work out, Google could always swoop in to bail out VTel and expand its Google Fiber service into yet another area on the cheap.
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