Where there is a high rate of return on investment with old technology without any threat of competition, monopolistic incumbents have little reason to improve their networks and/or product offerings.
Oregon's SandyNet to Use Sewers for Fiber Deployment
SandyNet, of Sandy, Oregon, recently announced that it plans to expand Internet service with fiber to every home and business in the city. The network, which has serviced the community for ten years, currently offers fiber to businesses along the Highway 26 corridor. Wireless service is available throughout town and in some rural areas around the City.
SandyNet plans to provide a range of tiers for fiber connectivity. Preliminary rates include residential fiber service of 100 Mbps for $39.95. Business service will vary from $69.95 per month to $499.95 per month for 1 Gbps. Construction is scheduled to begin spring of 2013 and the utility estimates service to be available by the end of the year in most neighborhoods.
The City will be working with i3 America, which uses city sanitary and sewer storm pipes as a makeshift conduit for fiber optic cable. i3's "FOCUS" system uses special armorerd cable designed to withstand a harsh environment and does not affect operation of clean or wastewater systems. Because this method uses existing pipes, construction costs can be up to 70% lower than traditional burying of conduit and fiber. The location of cable is much deeper in the wastewater pipes, so there will be less chances of damage due to construction or the elements.
From the press release:
The City of Sandy last year sponsored a "Why Wait for Google?" contest to gauge interest in fiber Internet service, and to select a neighborhood for a pilot program. Resients in every neighborhood expressed interest in the service , and i3 approached the city with a proposal to extend fiber to every building in the town.
Similar to the Google Fiber deployment in Kansas City, neighborhoods that show the most interest will be hooked up first. Residents and businesses are encouraged to sign up now.
Joe Knapp, IT Director and General Manager of SandyNet offered some details via email:
The City of Sandy will operate the network. i3 will own it initially and the City of Sandy will pay them a rate per home connected. After 10 years the city has an option to purchase the network.
Sandy, located in north central Oregon, invested in a community network when the private market stayed away. Before SandyNet, the only Internet service available to its 9,570 residents was dial-up.