Wave Broadband plots Gigabit broadband for Seattle neighborhoods

Wave Broadband is jumping ahead of the competition with plans to offer broadband speeds up to 1 Gbps to Seattle neighborhoods starting in December.

According to a story in The Seattle Times, the Kirkland-based company's CondoInternet subsidiary will start 1 Gbps service in Seattle's Eastlake neighborhood in December and spread out to other areas of the city from there. It's planning a flat rate of $80 per month for the ultra-high-speed connection and $60 per month for 100 Mbps service. There are no contracts, equipment or service bundle requirements, the report said.

CondoInternet, acquired by Wave last year, has been wiring condos and apartments with ultrafast service since 2008 and now reaches about 20,000 residents, 75 percent of whom can grab gigabit speeds. The service is a direct challenge to CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), which began upgrading to gigabit service in August and plans to make it available to "tens of thousands" of Seattle homes in 2015, company spokeswoman Meg Andrews told the newspaper. Cable provider Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) so far hasn't made a gigabit move in the city.

CondoInternet is building an aerial service along power poles rather than digging up streets to install onsite cabinets.

"Our goal would be to have a larger offering of fiber-to-the-home in the next few years. The question is where we build it most effectively and economically," John van Oppen, senior vice president of CondoInternet and Wave, said in the story.

Aside from the incumbent telecommunications players, CondoInternet could face competition from the city itself since Seattle is still considering a muni service and has been working with consultants on an upgraded study of the issue.

That, city CTO Michael Mattmiller said, could change "if providers are stepping up to provide that service."

For more:
- The Seattle Times has this story

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