High Speed Internet for a Reasonable Price - The UpStream

High Speed Internet for a Reasonable Price

posted Saturday Jun 11, 2011 by Scott Ertz

High Speed Internet for a Reasonable Price

It is no surprise to most people in the US that Internet access is expensive. It gets even more expensive when you want that access to be fast. Connections in the 40-100 Mbps range can cost $100-200. RoadRunner Lightning, for all of you Time Warner Cable and Brighthouse Networks customers is around $100 for a whopping 40 Mbps. One California company, Sonic.net, is trying to change that.

The company has been around since the mid-90s prodiving standard DSL service to customers. They later branched out and offered what is called bonded DSL, essentially 2 lines each providing 20 Mbps, bonded together at the modem to produce 40 Mbps speeds over DSL. That service has run their customers around $70 per month (much better than the cost for Lightning). While this is a great deal, Sonic.net has decided to up the ante.

What are they doing? Hit the break to find out.

Sonic.net has recently begun installing fiber in their market, similar to Verizon's now slowed FiOS installs. While FiOS will limit your speeds to about 40 Mbps, like the bonded DSL or Lightning service, Sonic is going about pricing and speed a little different. They have decided to offer their fiber service for the same price as their bonded DSL, except instead of 40 Mbps they will be offering 1 Gbps.

Yes, you read the correctly: 1 gigabit per second for around $70 per month. That's not all you get for this unbeatable price - it also includes home phone service. Now, how is it possible they can make money like this when Time Warner and Comcast charge about $40 for their base plans (10 Mbps and 1.5 Mbps respectively). Sonic.net is giving you access to 600x the speed for less than double the price.

Sonic.net's CEO, Dane Jasper, has said that the service is a trial in about 700 homes. He also said,

Honestly, only as those wrap up will we have a complete picture of the economic model. But I believe that fast service for a low cost is possible.

Maybe if these guys can make it work other communications companies will follow suit, but I'm not holding my breath.


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