The latest gigabit network launch comes from Pinnacle Communications, a small telco serving Lavaca, Arkansas. The company several years ago deployed fiber-to-the-home throughout its serving area, which simplified the process of upgrading the network to support gigabit service, explained Pinnacle Communications General Manager John Zeller in an interview.
Pinnacle’s upgrade required acquiring additional backbone connectivity and upgrading routers, Zeller said. A year ago the company replaced the electronics in customers’ homes with devices capable of supporting gigabit connectivity. Accordingly those customers ordering gigabit service will not have to receive new equipment in their homes, Zeller explained.
Small Telco Gigabit
Gigabit service from Pinnacle will be symmetrical and will cost $199 per month. Previously the highest speed available was 100 Mbps at $130 a month.
Telcos increasingly are offering symmetrical broadband services as the amount of traffic sent to the Internet is growing at a faster rate than traffic from the Internet. Symmetrical services also can differentiate telco-provided broadband from cable company services, which generally offer higher speeds downstream than upstream.
Moving forward ultra-high-speed connectivity could be a useful economic development tool, Zeller noted.
“We’re reaching out to area and regional chambers of commerce to make sure they’re aware of these capabilities,” he said. The chambers of commerce then should be able to reach out to companies that expressed interest in locating operations in the area if ultra-high-speed broadband were available.
It is become quite common to see small telcos like Pinnacle offering gigabit service because many of those telcos already have deployed FTTH, making it relatively easy for them to upgrade to deliver gigabit service.