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Competition Expected To Drive Down Rates In Huntsville
The imminent arrival of Google Fiber and two other Internet Service Providers offering Gigabit speeds (1,000 Megabits per second) to Huntsville, Alabama is expected to be a boon to subscribers, reports Alabama Tech.
The tech publication predicts the three ISPs - Google Fiber, AT&T and WOW! - will spur competition that will lower prices for residential and business subscribers. A newly-released report from Analysis Group and funded by the Fiber to the Home Council shows that direct competition in a designated market results in overall price drops for connectivity service of all speeds.
“Research shows a 'Gig City' lowers the monthly standard price on plans with at least 100 Mbps down 25 percent, or $27 per month. When it directly compares markets with one Gigabit provider compared to two, the price of Gigabit services decreases approximately 34 to 37 percent, or $57 to $62 per month.”
The tech publication also stated a domino effect occurs when an ISP says it will offer Gigabit services:
“The likelihood of other providers offering similar services increases in an effort to keep pace with its competition. This trend applies to Huntsville. WOW! and AT&T announced it had launched Gigabit-speed services for Huntsville customers in October 2016, which was less than a year after Google Fiber announced it would offer services to some Huntsville customers beginning in 2017.
From Alabama Tech:
“When Google Fiber enters the market, it will likely help lower prices in Huntsville...WOW! will likely offer gigabit speeds at $160 per month for customers after the conclusion of its $70 per month promotion, while AT&T Fiber is currently offering Huntsville customers a non-promotional rate of $90 per month for gigabit services. Google Fiber is expected to offer $70 per month services when it enters the market. AT&T Alabama president Fred McCallum wouldn't rule out price adjustments to compete with other providers.”
The Fiber Council’s report is based on research from the economic consulting firm Analysis Group.
This past February, we reported that Huntsville Utilities and Google Fiber plan to construct a dark fiber network and that Google Fiber will offer services to the community via the city’s new fiber infrastructure investment. Christopher Mitchell, director of our community broadband networks initiative, also interviewed Stacy Cantrell, vice-president engineering for Huntsville Utilities, and Tom Reiman, president of The Broadband Group, for episode #191 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast.