Fiber Optic

Great Plains Communications is the latest broadband provider to make multi-gigabit news. The company said it has launched 2 Gbps symmetrical service in 10 communities, primarily in Nebraska.

A spokesperson for the company said the offering is supported by XGS-PON fiber broadband equipment. Key vendors are Adtran and Calix.

Great Plains can trace its roots back over 100 years to when it started out as a local telephone company. The company now operates a 16,500+ mile regional fiber network that reaches 13 states: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.   

The company has been expanding since it was acquired by private equity firm Grain Management in 2018.

Since then, Great Plains has acquired several other companies and has been upgrading its network.

Deploying multi-gigabit service is a logical next step. Although 2 Gbps symmetrical service may be more than many people need, offering service at those speeds can be an excellent way of staving off competition from cable companies. As of now, cable companies can offer multi-gigabit speeds downstream but cannot match those speeds on the upstream – although that is set to change soon.

The nine Nebraska markets where the 2 Gbps service will be available are Blair, Broken Bow, Elkhorn, Fremont, Grand Island, Kearney, McCook, North Bend, Valley and Wood River. In addition, the 2 Gbps service is available in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

According to a press release, the company is also offering 10 Gbps service to business customers.

What we don’t know is how competitively priced the Great Plains multi-gigabit service is. The company spokesperson declined to answer a question about pricing.

“Great Plains Communications continues to invest in our network and product suite to support the fast pace of technology, the current and future needs of our customers and the ongoing demand for more bandwidth,” said Todd Foje, CEO of Great Plains Communications, in the press release about the Great Plains 2 Gbps launch. “This is part of our dedication to building fiber-forward communities that are positioned for future growth.”

According to the release, Great Plains Communications “takes pride in its progressive approach to accommodating the unique needs of all regional and national telecommunications carriers, LECs, ISPs, wireless carriers and other service providers utilizing superior engineering and custom-build strategies.”

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