, an Ellettsville, Indiana based independent telco, has joined the ever increasing club. Smithville has completed the first leg of a $90 million FTTH overbuild project, making a 100 Mbps broadband tier available to its first set of customers. “Currently, no other internet service provider (ISP) in the state of Indiana offers 100 mbps service for residential customers. In fact, no other ISP in the entire US Midwest offer’s more than 50 Mbps,” says Smithfield in a company statement. Some on this blog may give reason to dispute this claim, but nevertheless, it does represent an expansion of the 100 Mbps benchmark into rural America. Smithville says the 100 Mbps service will be available to half of its customer base within 12 months.

The 100 Mbps milestone has become the broadband benchmark extreme of choice. Multiple service providers are now claiming the extreme broadband tier. It amounts to a ‘broadband arms race’ of sorts. Realistically, the overwhelming majority of subscribers neither need nor can afford these 100 Mbps benchmarks. At least not yet. We’re sure the time will come when 100 Mbps is mainstream – when is anyone’s guess.

What do you think? Offer your opinion by using the comment tool below.

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11 thoughts on “100 Mbps Broadband Reaches Rural America

  1. Realistically, who needs 100 Mbps. What do these announcements serve other than to generate press releases and hype in the trade press. I’d love to see the penetration rates of these services.

  2. These 100 Mbps claims make for great headlines, but they need to be put in perspective. I’d like to see what the Internet backhaul links are for these carriers who are now offering 100 Mbps. If you only have a DS3 to the Internet, are you truly offering 100 Mbps to customers.

  3. Say what you want, but this is the future. It may be getting here sooner than everyone thought …

  4. 100 mbps to where? True rural companies have too many hops to the world. To provide a guaranteed level of service, for a viable business model, the transport costs for most truly rural telcos would be prohibitive. I am sure, with its proximity to Bloomington, that Smithville is in the enviable position of not having to deal with these costs. Plus there is probably a significant number of “early adopters” in this market to buy their service. 100mbps is still a long way out for true rural markets with their aging farmers and shrinking populations.

  5. Just to build off the other subject lines in this comment section, 100 Mbps to where? At work we have access to a much larger pipe, but rarely see an extended download over 20 or 30 Mbps. I bet a 50 or 100 Mbps home user would not be able to perceive a difference between the two, not to speak about the TCP/IP stack & latency => performance conundrum.

  6. I am a Smithville Telephone customer. Here is a quote from an email I received from them regarding pricing for the 100 MBPS tier.

    “For residential services, the Internet (100/25) + voice package is 323.60 a month plus taxes. This includes local telephone service, 100/25 broadband and 100 minutes of free long distance each month.”

    Smithville Telephone sells a Hi-Speed ANYDistance bundle on their current copper telephone system. It includes an “up to” 3.0Mbps internet connection, phone service with unlimited long distance, call waiting and caller id with name. This package sells for $76.95 per month. I am told that this same package will be sold on the fiber system, at the same price, with a 20 Mbps downstream and a 4 Mbps upstream internet connection. I am truly a rural customer. There are only 4 other houses within a half of a mile of mine. I know I won’t be in the first 50% to be connected but $76.95 per month for what they will be offering is a pretty sweet deal.

  7. Just as an exta note… the above article does not explain that Smithville Telephone is replacing 100% of their copper telephone phone system with the new fiber optic system. The penetration rate for this system will be 100% as the old copper system will be abandoned.

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