US Internet challenges CenturyLink, Comcast with 2.5 and 5 Gbps FTTH in Minneapolis

Minnesota-based US Internet (USI) plans to add 2.5 and 5 Gbps service options to its FTTH Internet service portfolio beginning in the first quarter of 2016, laying a new challenge to incumbent telco and cable operators CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) in Minneapolis.

Set on serving a mix of consumer and business customers, the service provider will deliver the new tiers via its Active Ethernet platform. The company said that each of its customers on its Active Ethernet platform receives a dedicated fiber connection.

While there has been a lot of activity amongst traditional telcos and cable operators around offering 1 Gbps service, USI took a big leap last year in the FTTH race when it began offering a 10 Gbps service in Minneapolis.

It hopes to now bridge the gap between the 1 and 10 Gbps offering it has with a wider range of speeds, including 1 Gbps, 2.5 Gbps, 5 Gbps and 10 Gbps. Each of these tiers are competitively priced beginning at $65 for the 1 Gbps offering and $399 a month for the 10 Gbps service, while the 2.5 Gbps and the 5 Gbps offering is priced at $99 and $199 a month, respectively.

USI is amongst a small group of FTTH service providers that are offering 10 Gbps service. EPB, a municipal FTTH provider, began offering a similar 10 Gbps tier earlier this year. However, EPB's new 10G service is priced a bit lower at $299, but USI will likely realign its prices as demand for higher speeds like 10 Gbps ramp.

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