Gigabit Squared will eventually deliver its service to these 14 neighborhoods. The arrows point to the launch areas: U-District and Capitol Hill.

Good news for those wanting to browse the web and download content at breakneck speeds: Ultra-fast Internet is officially arriving in Seattle early next year at an affordable price.

Washington D.C. broadband developer Gigabit Squared today announced residential rates for the ultra high-speed fiber network in Seattle it agreed to build last December.

There will be three pricing tiers. In terms of speed, Plan A is like a Ford Focus, Plan B is a BMW while Plan C is the Ferrari.

Here’s the breakdown:

Plan A

  • $350 installation fee, no monthly charge for 60 months
  • 5 Mbps download speed, 1 Mpbs upload.
  • This service is transferrable to new owners/renters. After 60 months, Plan A customers can upgrade to 10 Mbps download/upload speed for $10 per month. 

Plan B

  • No installation fee, $45 per month
  • 100 Mbps download speed, 100 Mbps upload speed

Plan C

  • No installation fee, $80 per month
  • 1000 Mbps download speed, 1000 Mbps upload speed 

Yep, that’s right: You can get 1000 Mbps speeds — or, “1Gig” — for around the same price per month as what Comcast charges for 50 Mbps download/10 Mbps upload.

In early 2014, Gigabit’s service will be first available in two of the 14 “demonstration” areas: U-District and Capitol Hill. Gigabit President Mark Ansboury told us that those neighborhoods were picked due to high demand and access to already-available infrastructure. Each of the 14 areas — about 100,000 homes — will have access to Gigabit’s network by the end of 2014.

[Follow-upWhy this ISP is wary of Seattle’s new gigabit Internet provider]

“Seattle really wants fast, modern broadband service and the high demand we’re seeing reflects that fact,” said Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. “The University District and the Capitol Hill-First Hill-Central District area will provide a good testing ground for Gigabit Squared’s service. I know there’s a lot of demand in the other neighborhoods too and I’m looking forward to seeing them get connected throughout 2014.”

Since Gigabit announced its public/private partnership with the city in December, the demand has been incredible. Thousands of requests have poured in at a rate of more than 200 or 300 per week, Ansboury said, which has propelled Gigabit’s business plan into its third year already.

“We believe Seattle is ready for this innovation, and they clearly asking for it,” said Ansboury, who added that his company will be spending $50 million on deployment in Seattle.

It’s easy to see why there is such high interest. In the ISP space, the cost of deploying and installing fiber is cheaper than using cable, and traditional broadband companies like Comcast already have infrastructure that they need to get a return on — not to mention the company actually says its customers aren’t ready for faster Internet yet.

gigabitseattleThat leaves a huge opportunity for a greenfield company like Gigabit Squared to step in at the ground level and create something new — which, in this case, is the fiber optic network that offers fast upload speeds that can expedite two-way sharing of information.

“These cable companies are saying you don’t need faster Internet and that they already have enough for you,” he said. “We are trying to provide services that people want.”

In the future, a company like Comcast could actually pay Gigabit Squared to provide the high-speed fiber optic Internet to its own customers, something that Ansboury supports.

gigabitsquaredsystem“We’re creating an open-access network that can be shared with other carriers,” he said. “We want to give customers the ability to get services from multiple customers.”

A lot of the people around Seattle interested in Gigabit’s service were entrepreneurs with small businesses looking for better bandwidth, which didn’t surprise Gigabit. After all, it’s one of the big reasons the company chose Seattle — along with Chicago — as the inaugural city to try out its new service.

“There is a very creative class here built on entrepreneurism and they want to see things happen,” Ansboury said.

Google Fiber is another big fiber optic network now available to customers and offers a payment plan similar to Gigabit’s. Ansboury said he doesn’t expect to be in the same cities as Google.

“We aren’t trying to compete with other gigabit communities,” he said. “At the end of the day, we are both trying to promote gigabit capacity and give you the bandwidth to create the apps and services you really want.”

Gigabit, which is also partnering with the University of Washington this project, will first use a combination of public and private fiber optic cables already available in Seattle and will soon begin building its own infrastructure, which could end up growing past just the 14 “demonstration neighborhoods” if the interest and demand keep up.

“We will go where people have need,” he said. “We expect this whole area to grow.”

The company will announce a “simple sign-up process” next month for those interested. This list will also help prioritize the rollout of the 12 other neighborhoods. For more about Gigabit Squared Seattle, check out this extensive FAQ.

Editor’s note: Comment from Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn was added at 1:30 P.M. 

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  • Bill Schrier

    Taylor, you compared Gigabit Squared’s 1000 Mbps with Comcast’s 50 Mbps download / 10 Mbps upload, however Comcast’s plan is worse in another respect – those speeds are shared by 50 to 200 other users or households all on the same node, whereas Gigabit’s is shared by just one user – the subscriber.

  • Kevin Lisota

    $80/month for 1GB up and down? I’m in! Our office is in the trial area, but my house is about a half mile away. Yet another reason I’ll spend more time in the office, I guess.

  • Guest

    For those of us not living in Seattle, please don’t run stories like this. It only makes us jealous. :-)

  • Guest

    Awesome! Thanks, Mike.

  • Ben Ferris

    Please come to Kirkland!

  • Ben Ferris

    Wonder when Google Fiber will come to Seattle. Might be nice to have options for Gigabit speeds! I really hope this comes to the east side soon too.

  • guest

    Can’t wait for this to be implemented city-wide (I don’t live in one of the 14 areas that will be covered). Finally there will be an alternative to Comcast & CenturyLink.

    (who, ODDLY ENOUGH (sarcasm), have the same over charge us with the same inflated rate)
    The CEO of Comcast recently said that Seattle isn’t ready for high speed Internet and doesn’t need it.

    More like Comcast isn’t ready for competition and doesn’t want it.

  • Hanley H. Bonynge

    So excess bandwidth will be leased to Comcast to gouge the rest of us in other neighborhoods with. Comcast has no incentive to offer competitive rates whatsoever.

  • Donald Tripp

    Do you know when they will be announcing the final layout for the fiber neighborhoods? I have the same problem in Ballard that you do at Geekwire HQ, 1 block east of the cut-off. Geeks unite for fiber!

    And the price for synchronous 1 gig is fantastic, cheaper than the other 1 gig providers in limited parts of town (I won’t name names).

  • MissBeth

    LAME – notice that the MAJORITY of the areas this will be available in are areas that are more financially advantageous to this Gigabit squared?

    Places like Skyway, Georgetown, and White Center ALWAYS seem to get the short end of everything!!!

    So, meanwhile I’ll continue to be stuck with Comcast here in my neighborhood!

    • bzdzb

      Boo-hoo! The world owes you! If you could think up a business plan to bootstrap a major technology upgrade starting with low-income areas, be my guest.

    • Bryan Anderson

      That’s the way the world works. If you were investing in the infrastructure, would you start with neighborhoods with a low proportion of people could afford to subscribe?

  • Viet Nguyen

    I’m cautiously optimistic for GB Squared, but for other Seattle residents who want ridiculously fast internet service, check out – they serve up gigabit speeds in predominantly high-rise residential buildings. Disclosure: I used to work for them, but no longer have a financial interest in the company.

  • Mike Lewis

    Damn them and their diffidence toward Magnolia, Seattle’s premier hub for….um…well…uh…(I’ll get back to you on that). Anyway, we’d love us some Gigbit in West Interbay. Don’t make us reach out and get ignored by Google fibre too.

  • Forrest Corbett

    Meanwhile, there are neighborhoods in Seattle that can’t even get DSL…

  • Peter Chee

    I’m glad to see some competition against the companies that are charging insane amounts for bandwidth. Last Friday, I got a price estimate for 1GB download speeds and was quoted $12,000/month. :(

    • Viet Nguyen

      Hey Peter – I’m sure Spectrum Networks can help you.

  • DeathToComcast

    I would like to see Comcast die a quick but painful death! Death To COMCAST. You have been gouging and tricking us for years!

  • Joshua Baron

    I wish this was in Seward Park. We have terrible options for Internet and being a small business owner and having a family of 6 we need something faster then what is offered in our community.

  • Gremot

    With most internet sites capping their web server output at 1-3meg , even 25meg internet is more than enough for that and a HD video. More bandwidth just allows additional concurrent transfers, and the vast majority of users have trouble enough just understanding and operating their PC’s, let alone “multitasking”, LOL

  • Gremot

    Also, it would improve the Internet experience more if all this money was spent improving the backbone infrastructure , eliminating backbone server and Peering congestion.

  • sandra

    Can’t wait to call Comcast and tell them to put their internet where the sun doesn’t shine!

    • Eileithyia

      same here.

  • Alex Ohannes

    So sad. The plan is dead. :(

  • Keith

    Seattle kills Gigabit Squared’s fiber internet rollout
    before it even starts. See:

  • esolesek

    Comcast is the enemy, and they’ve made themselves so both in business and in politics. The sooner I get away from them the better.

  • Skyler

    Thank you for the informative article! I can barely wait for this service…..oh wait, I have plenty of time to wait due to ABHORENTLY LOW SPEEDS WITH CENTURYLINK AT PRESENT ! ! ! !

    I hope the Gigabit^2 study on the hill goes off without a hitch. To bigger and better things in the near future – and to hell with a company that charges long-time customers a ‘loyalty rate’ of $49.99 for ‘SPEEDS UP TO 5Mbps DL SPEEDS’ (typically an abysmal ~2.7 Mbps).

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