Cincinnati Bell: 30 Mbps is our broadband sweet spot

Cincinnati Bell may be an advocate of 1 Gbps FTTH service, but like other wireline telcos it has found that in the near-term most of its customers find utility in 30 Mbps speed services.

While the 1 Gbps service gives Cincinnati Bell an advantage of local cable operator Time Warner Cable, Mike Vanderwoude, SVP and general manager for consumer markets at Cincinnati Bell, told FierceTelecom only a minority of its customers purchase the service.

"Our 1 Gig product is a great aspirational product and it is the latest and greatest that we offer the fastest speed in the market, and that's great to have," Vanderwoude said. "In terms of us operating day to day it's not what most customers buy, but 30 Mbps is the sweet spot right now."

Still, having the 1 Gbps product will serve as a foundation from which it can respond to consumers' future bandwidth needs.

"As we all know, that's a rapidly evolving space, and we expect the speed demanded by our customers to increase over time. And the good news is we're ready for it," Vanderwoude said.

Joining a number of its ILEC brothers like AT&T (NYSE: T) and CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), Cincinnati Bell launched its 1 Gbps fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service in September 2014, a move to thwart a potential threat from Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) if it decided to come to Cincinnati.

In tandem with the 1 Gbps launch, it introduced the "Light up Cincinnati" initiative to tout its movement to expand its Fioptics suite of broadband Internet, voice and video services for its mix of business and consumer customers throughout Cincinnati.

Similar to other telcos like CenturyLink and Consolidated Communications, Cincinnati Bell is seeing interest in its lower tier speed bandwidth services continue to grow as it rolls out Fioptics FTTH service into more parts of the city.

In addition to purchasing other tiers, the rollout of fiber to more homes is driving up property values for residents in Cinncinnati.

"Customers have a perception, and perception becomes reality, that just having fiber to their home provides market value for their home," Vanderwoude said. "It's like an asset they have and that becomes reality because it's something that buyers are going to seek and are willing to pay for."

Expanding the availability of Fioptics has been an ongoing priority for Cincinnati Bell. During the second quarter, the service provider passed an additional 25,000 units in the second quarter with Fioptics, ending the period with a total of 382,300 dwellings. It plans to continue expanding that base throughout 2015 and into 2016.

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