At a time when the costs of fixed networks, plus the level of competition in virtually all markets makes a triple-play service approach a virtual necessity, is a stark exception. is a pure-play broadband provider. It doesn’t provide video entertainment services, though it does bundle voice with broadband.

Now has applied to build an initial pilot network capable of serving 2,000 homes in the Sunset District of San Francisco, with expectations it will follow with a five-year plan to build fiber access infrastructure that would “reach most San Francisco premises.”

Pending permit approval, the ISP, which currently offers copper-based broadband and phone service in the Bay Area, intends to begin construction in 2012. already has a similar network up and running in Sebastopol, Calif., where it sells a 1-Gig service for $69.95 per month.

The possible new network is significant as it tests the theory that video entertainment services are fundamental for success in the fixed network business.

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