A new residential community in Granger, Indiana is offering homeowners a unique broadband option – gigabit internet over a dedicated fiber for a single upfront payment of $5,000 for five years or $9,250 for 20 years. The service comes from a startup called NFINET, whose operations officer Charles Florance answered some questions from Telecompetitor via email.
“NFINET is half technology innovation and half financial innovation,” Florance told us.
On the technology side, the company uses equipment from Hexatronic and EntryPoint to provide a point-to-point fiber connection which, according to Florance, is “faster and more reliable for residential customers than most alternatives.”
On the financial side, “our model takes the difference between price and installation cost and creates an endowment designed to service the life of the agreement—expansions included,” Florance said. “Operating expenses, customer support and IP are all supported by the financial model.”
The point-to-point dedicated fiber connects each home to an internet point of presence, Florance explained. Unlike with passive optical network fiber-to-the-home technology, the NFINET offering has no splitters.
EntryPoint provides a home gateway with four Ethernet ports, two USB ports and two small form factor pluggable ports.
Hexatronic’s role is to provide fiber connectivity using microconduit architecture that facilitates point-to-point connections, according to a press release from NFINET.
The one-time fee for NFINET service is promoted as a means of avoiding bill increases, interruptions to service caused by billing disputes and the like.
“NFINET doesn’t have a collections department,” said Florance. “There are no billing questions. There are no service disruptions from bank errors or late payments.”
He added that “Part of our value proposition is having superior customer service. With our active management, we expect to see network problems before our customers see them. We are 100% responsible for maintaining the connection during the service lifetime.”
The company also promises no speed throttling or capped data.
I could see the NFINET offering appealing to upscale homeowners that are interested in cutting edge offerings – and NFINET’s strategy of targeting upscale housing developments would seem to be the best way to address that market.
The NFINET offering clearly isn’t for everyone, though. Not many homeowners can afford to shell out five or ten thousand dollars upfront for an internet connection, no matter how many years of service it includes.
The five-year pricing works out to $83.33 a month, which is in line with the $70 or $80 price we typically see for gigabit service in metro areas, but not a tremendous deal. The 20-year option is more appealing from a price standpoint. It works out to only $38.54 a month, which is a good price – in today’s market, at least. Who knows what we’ll pay for gigabit service in 2041? And who knows if we’ll still be living in the same house?