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Seattle May Have to Wait a Few Bits Longer for Fast, Cheap Internet

Kyle Jacoby (2973265) writes | about 9 months ago

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Kyle Jacoby (2973265) writes "In 2010, after Google Fiber's success in Kansas City, Google looked for another city to test its infrastructure. Seattle jumped at the opportunity to woo the internet giant, hoping to fuel the growing needs of its increasingly tech-centric city, but lost the bid to Austin in the end. Impatient, Seattle partnered with Gigabit Squared to deliver gigabit service using some of the city's own unused fiber. Originally slated to begin service in Fall of 2013, the project was delayed until "first quarter 2014," but there still appears to be no signs of life. Recent probing by GeekWire suggests that the project has stalled again and, in fact, may never have been moving to begin with. "When you dug into [it]... there wasn’t any money there, and there wasn’t any clear path to the money other than this general notion that if you got enough people moving in the same direction, money would show up." The Gigabit Squared toll-free phone number was even removed from their site after being disabled, and the project's prime proponent, Mayor McGinn, admits that he's "very concerned it’s not going to work." Without this project, and without motivation from the new mayor-elect, there may be no competition for the Comcast monopoly, whose current minimum price for internet-only is $49.95/mo ($64.95/mo for speeds over 6 mbps). This sharply contrasts Gigabit Seattle's announced plans for $10/mo for 5 mbps, $45 for 100 mbps, and $80 for true gigabit."

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