Topic: faster internet access

10. Sonic

Google Fiber may have disrupted the broadband market with its $70 fiber internet plans, but California-based Sonic has taken fiber to the home (FTTH) pricing one level higher: It offers 1 Gbps for $40 a month.
EPB workers install fiber optic cables in Chattanooga. Image: EPB

9. EPB

Chattanooga, Tennessee’s Electric Power Board (EPB) has become a high-profile voice in the innovative yet controversial municipal broadband movement.

8. Midco

Midwestern cable operator Midco stands on the cutting edge of cable technology. The operator set the auspicious goal of deploying Docsis 3.1 network technology across its entire footprint by the end of this year, and based on the operator’s recent announcements, it appears Midco is well on its way toward reaching its goal.

7. Google Fiber

Although Google remains a relatively small player in the overall market for high-speed telecommunications services in the United States, its impact on the market is indisputably outsized. The company’s initial pledge almost seven years ago to provide 1 Gbps services to residents in select cities sparked a range of competitive responses from the likes of Comcast, CenturyLink and AT&T. Today the number of 1 Gbps service providers continues to grow.

5. Rise Broadband

With around 200,000 customers, Rise Broadband lays claim to being the nation’s largest fixed wireless service provider. The company offers fixed LTE services alongside nonstandard fixed wireless options, running primarily in 5 GHz but also in 3.65 GHz and 2.5 GHz, in mostly rural locations in Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and elsewhere in the West.

3. Redzone Wireless

Redzone Wireless is distinctive in that it launched what is likely the first 5G-branded wireless service in the United States. In January the company flipped the switch on its “5Gx” fixed wireless network in 10 rural and suburban markets across its home state of Maine, using both licensed LTE and unlicensed spectrum bands on a single tower and integrating them on a proprietary operational support system (OSS) platform, to offer test speeds of up to 450 Mbps running in the 5.1 GHz to 5.8 GHz range.

2. Starry

Starry sports several compelling elements to its story: It’s a startup founded by Chet Kanojia, the entrepreneur who also founded Aereo, which tried to disrupt the TV/video industry but ended up in bankruptcy. It also designed and built the Starry Station, a high-end Wi-Fi hub sporting a touchscreen. And its wireless system can run in inepxective spectrum bands including the 37-40 GHz range, and will relay internet signals to subscribers’ externally mounted reception antennas using non-line-of-sight wireless technology – similar to the fixed wireless setup Verizon and others are designing around 5G technology.

1. Common Networks

Common Networks is a rare bird in the ISP space: Instead of a lengthy corporate history and a front-office full of telecom veterans, it’s a brand-new startup founded only last year by a handful of young men and women from payments company Square. Today the company counts a total of just a dozen full-time employees.