Ziply Fiber is looking to claim the broadband speed crown in the northwestern U.S., trotting out a new symmetrical 10-gig residential service tier. The service is now available to customers across Ziply’s entire four-state footprint.
Harold Zeitz, Ziply’s CEO, told Fierce the decision to launch its new 10-gig tier came in response to customer demand. “We have customers who are interested in that. We have a number of 2 and 5 gig customers and we had some customers who asked for more,” he explained.
That said, Zeitz isn’t necessarily expecting mass uptake of the new tier. Rather, it’ll likely be more like a “few percent” of its customers. “I don’t expect it to be our primary offer. I don’t expect it to be for everyone…because we can, we’d rather do this now than wait for some artificial future date.”
The new offering comes with a monthly price tag of $300. Those interested will also need to pay a one-time $300 installation fee and either provide their own router with a 10-gig port or lease one from Ziply for $10 per month. Zeitz said the installation fee will cover the cost of running fiber directly to a customer’s router.
Ziply has 10-gig compatible routers from three different brands, though Zeitz declined to name them because the routers are in short supply and he doesn’t want to give away the company’s advantage.
He added customers who bring their own gear need to ensure the routers have either both 10-gig WAN and LAN ports or a direct fiber connection to the router and a 10-gig port. A capable laptop or device is also a must to take advantage of the full 10-gigs over a wired connection. Wi-Fi isn’t yet capable of delivering the full 10-gigs.
Ziply isn’t the first to offer such speeds. Others, including EPB in Tennessee, Wire 3 in Florida, Dobson Fiber in Oklahoma and Arkansas, Sonic Internet in California and several of UTOPIA Fiber’s ISP partners – including Advanced Stream, brigham.net, Sumo Fiber, Veracity Networks and XMission – provide 10-gig residential products. In EPB’s case, it also offers a 25-gig service. Pricing for these 10-gig offers ranges from $49.99 (Sonic) to $115 (Dobson), all the way up to $299.99 (EPB).
As far as plans at larger competitors go, AT&T Fiber and Frontier Communications currently top out at 5 Gbps, Comcast’s cable can hit 6 Gbps for select customers and Google Fiber and Lumen Technologies both offer 8-gig tiers.
Still, Zeitz said Ziply’s service is expected to be the fastest in the markets it serves in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
Looking ahead, Zeitz said a service tier somewhere between 10 and 25 gigs would be the logical next step. But he noted “you gotta have it paired with he right end devices and I think that may be what lags. It might be that it’s going to take a while to ever get really common 10 gig on the CPE side.”
Ziply already serves fiber to 800,000 locations across its footprint (about 50% of its territory) and recently announced its 100th market. It is aiming to blanket roughly 80% to 85% of its copper customers with fiber in the coming years with fiber and also recently began an edge out initiative to push its fiber reach even further.