Small Massachusetts Town Offers Gigabit Internet For $75/Month

(image via Google Maps)

(image via Google Maps)

As Comcast rolls out its superfast 2 gigabit fiber service for $300/month — not to mention upwards of $1,000 in startup costs — yet another municipally owned broadband service is offering similar service for less money.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that LeverettNet was offerign 2Gbps speeds to customers. In fact, the speeds to the home have remained at 1Gbps (same as Google Fiber), but backbone improvements have been made. We apologize for any confusion.

Leverett is a small town of fewer than 2,000 residents in the western half of Massachusetts, not far from Amherst. It is also the home of LeverettNet, a town-owned fiber network.

Even though 81% of the Leverett population is already served by LeverettNet, which offers residents broadband access at 1 gigabit per second, same as the top current speed of Google Fiber, and many times faster than the top speeds offered by the only other player in town, Verizon.

So with faster speeds come higher prices, right? Apparently not in Leverett, where customers who bundle in phone and Internet will soon see a $5/month drop in their bill.

Internet-only LeverettNet customers pay $75/month for the high-speed service, about the same as the $70/month charged by Google Fiber and $35/month less than AT&T charges for its GigaPower service (at least in markets where there is no competition).

The fact that a small town is able to provide affordable, high-speed service (which has a more than 80% adoption rate in less than a year of being available) shows why the telecom industry has fought so hard to outlaw or strangle municipal broadband in around half of the states.


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