Telcos, cable and municipalities get aggressive with 1 Gig pricing

Sean Buckley, FierceTelecom It's hard not to see how Google Fiber's (NASDAQ: GOOG) fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) initiative and its $70 a month pricing construct is forcing other traditional telcos, cable operators and municipalities to react with similar offerings.

In our new feature Gigabit Wars: The best prices for 1 Gbps service from ILECs, MSOs and municipal providers, we look at how various service providers are positioning their fiber-based broadband services in the market. 

While other providers could emerge, the dominant players in the 1 Gbps fiber race are really the traditional ILECs, cable operators and savvy communities building their own FTTP-based networks.

As you'll see in the feature, pricing amongst these three segments varies widely.

The two largest telcos AT&T (NYSE: T) and CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) have launched what are arguably ambitious deployment plans to bring the service to multiple cities over the next few years.

While its 1 Gbps service is only available in Austin, AT&T has followed Google Fiber's construct by serving up a $70 a month service there. But it has yet to reveal pricing for the other markets where it announced it would bring service. On a slightly higher scale, CenturyLink customers in Omaha and Las Vegas have the option of purchasing a standalone data service for $150 or $80 if they subscribe to a triple-play bundle.   

One of the telcos that's not part of the 1 Gbps trend is Verizon (NYSE: VZ). While the service provider has conducted 1 Gbps and even 10 Gbps trials with some select customers, it has yet to jump into the 1 Gbps game. Instead, it has made all of its FiOS speed tiers from 15 to 500 Mbps symmetrical for both its residential and small business customers. 

Meanwhile, a host of smaller telcos and municipalities are also being aggressive with 1 Gbps pricing. Cincinnati Bell and Comporium have priced their service at around $90 a month, while municipal provider is offering service for $70 a month. But as we note in the feature, Vermontel offers the cheapest service at $35 a month in select areas.

Take a look at our latest FierceTelecom feature here.--Sean