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Dark Fiber Week in Review

May 31, 2014

Dark Fiber Week in Review

By Rory J. Thompson
Web Editor

The “need for speed” is apparently driving the Dark Fiber arena this week as we’ll discover as we look back at the past week’s news.

To begin with, TDS Telecom, the seventh largest local exchange telephone company in the U.S., recently announced the availability of 1Gig high-speed Internet service in Hollis, New Hampshire, for less than $100 per month with a bundle. With this announcement, Hollis becomes the first place in the country where TDS is rolling out its fastest speed ever, one gigabit. The 1Gig high-speed Internet service introduced by TDS will successfully meet the ever-growing demand by customers for bandwidth. “Reliable access to high-speed broadband is critical to connecting New Hampshire to the digital world,” said U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, in a press statement. “It will take robust private sector investment to build out our nation’s fiber optic network, and I applaud TDS for launching this new service in Hollis, New Hampshire.” Officials confirmed that with TDS’ 1Gbps download/400 Mbps upload, customers will be able to transfer HD movies in seconds and stream them seamlessly, even on multiple devices.

But TDS is not alone. TMCnet’s Gary Kim (News - Alert) notes that although Internet service providers might rightly have argued there was relatively little demand for 1-Gbps Internet access services, when such services were priced in the hundreds of dollars per month, Google (News - Alert) Fiber has changed thinking among ISPs, resetting the price umbrella to $70 a month for a gigabit consumer service. So far, AT&T (News - Alert) has been the biggest U.S. ISP to respond, announcing both speed upgrades across most of its service territory, as well as upgrades to 300 Mbps, and then gigabit service in some neighborhoods in multiple markets. But as often is the case, smaller rural and independent telcos are part of the trend as well. Bolt Fiber Optic Services, TDS Telecom and Comporium are among rural and independent telcos that have announced gigabit access projects recently.

The speed issue is also picking up, well, speed, overseas as well. SpeedCast (News - Alert), a network solutions provider, stated that it extended the reach of its TIER 1 IP Backbone into Vanuatu enabling high-speed services and the expansion of affordable connectivity in the Pacific Islands. SpeedCast already provides high-quality services to Fiji, Tonga and New Caledonia, which was said to be one of the first adopters of a fiber network rollout in the territory. SpeedCast’s expansion should bring high throughput IP capacity, peering, transit and backbone to Vanuatu over the new ICL-1 submarine cable built and operated by Interchange Cable Ltd. Simon Fletcher, managing director at Interchange Cable Ltd, said, “SpeedCast has been a valued supplier of Internet services to Vanuatu and its wholesale customers for the past decade so we are thrilled to have its support. Looking forward, we are excited about the possibility this opens up for the future of Interchange in the Pacific.”

And there you have it. Be sure to check back daily to see who else in the Dark Fiber market is building momentum.

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