GVTC, a South Central Texas based triple play provider, announced the launch of a 40 Mbps broadband tier using FTTP. The service is available to any of GVTC’s 31,000 residential and businesses customers connected to their growing FTTP network. GVTC is currently undergoing a $35 million upgrade of their network, that when finished, will reach 80% of their customers across Far North San Antonio, Boerne, Bulverde and other Hill Country and Southeast Texas communities.
“We’re providing the Internet speeds that users are demanding right now, and we have positioned ourselves to deliver the speeds they’ll be demanding well into the future,” said Tom Zanoli, product manager-Internet. GVTC is offering the new broadband tier at $89.95/month in a bundled package. Proof positive that super fast Internet does not come without significant cost. GVTC’s previous top speed offer was 20 Mbps.
GVTC competes with Time Warner Cable, who according to GVTC, currently offer top speeds in the 12 – 15 Mbps range. GVTC is a great example of an independent telco facing significant competition from a national cable company. They are trying to position their network for the pending DOCSIS 3.0 onslaught from the likes of Time Warner Cable.
3 thoughts on “GVTC Launches 40 Mbps Broadband Tier”
The new, higher download speeds are good, but the big draw here is 10 Mbps uploads, something that's only beaten by FiOS in the whole state. Time Warner Cable stops at 5 Mbps even with DOCSIS 3 and Comcast, which will be selling service in Houston on their DOCSIS 3 network soonish, tops out at 10 Mbps for the moment, though a 100/15 business class tier is in the works.
So GVTC customers will be able to upload content faster than nearly everyone else in the state, provided they pony up $90-$100 for service, depending on whether they sign a contract, get double- or triple-play service from GVTC, or do none of the above.
GVTC's pricing for 40/10 service is similar to what Verizon does in competitive markets, though you can get 50/20 FiOS for $100 per month anywhere its available via DSLExtreme. It's also about the same price as TWC's 50/5 DOCSIS 3 service will be when it comes out in 1H 2010. Still, I'd take 40/10 fiber any day over 50/5 DOCSIS 3, and Verizon hasn't pushed FiOS much outside of its Dallas market in Texas so that's not really an option here. They just launched DSL in markets near GVTC a few weeks ago.
The really nice thing for folks in GVTC's service area is their business rates. Sure, 40/10 service for a little over $200 per month is a little more expensive than Comcast or FiOS at the 50/10 or 50/20 level. However it's MUCH less costly than Time Warner Cable's 15/2 business class product, which is upwards of $250 per month, and doesn't come close to the download and upload speeds available through GVTC. As another benchmark, GVTC's residential rates are about in line with AT&T's rates for U-Verse internet, though their business rates are a tad higher. That said, you don't have to be really close to a VRAD to get GVTC FTTH.
I'll bet the next thing to happen will be TWC's launch of DOCSIS 3.0. TWC currently prices their internet service lower than GVTC, at $50 per month for 15/2 service with PowerBoost on downloads, but they may be losing higher-end customers to GVTC at a greater rate now. They'll probably offer bundle promotions on DOCSIS 3 to stem that tide, at which point GVTC will either need to lower prices or bump speeds again. It will be interesting to see what happens between now and next summer in this area. Customers should be feeling pretty happy right about now.
One other cool thing: GVTC now has tier upload speeds displayed prominently on their website, showing that upload speeds across the board meet or beat those of TWC on the less expensive internet plans. They also offer upload speed boosts for FTTH customers on lower-end plans, so if you want a 5/2 or 12/3 connection then you can, for $45 or $65 per month respectively for residential, or $55/$120 on business, assuming a contract and no bundle.
Great analysis Ian! I agree upload speeds are quickly becoming the differentiator between competitive broadband. It's a potential 'ace in the hole' for fiber providers over cable D3 providers.
I'm not sure how GVTC can afford to price 40/10 Mbps for businesses at a tad over $200. If a business actually used that bandwidth, even at average utilization of 10 Mbps, in our situation we'd be losing money accounting just for the transport and internet, not to speak of all the other costs (last mile, network infrastructure, support, etc).