Starting last week, Charlottesville, Virginia residents did something very few people in the country can do. They signed up for Gigabit Internet service.
Gigabit Internet service refers to data uploads and downloads of up to a gigabit (or 1,000 megabits) per second. For those without an engineering degree, that is very, very fast. It puts Charlottesville on par with other pioneering US cities like Chattanooga, Tennessee and Lafayette, Louisiana, along with world-leading cities like Seoul, Stockholm and Tokyo. It creates a huge competitive advantage for Charlottesville businesses. It allows every member of a Charlottesville household to be streaming, gaming, video conferencing and browsing at the same time. It facilitates healthcare and fosters education.
The service is being provided by Ting (ting.com), a subsidiary of Tucows, Inc.
Ting disrupted the mobile industry with its launch in 2012, offering shockingly fair pricing, usable interfaces and no-hold, no-transfer live customer support. In December, they acquired local Internet service provider Blue Ridge InternetWorks, who had already begun building a gigabit-capable fiber network under the streets and across the poles of Charlottesville. Since then, the combined team has been aggressively expanding that network and readying the service for launch.
The network now reaches about 3,000 homes and businesses, with a plan to cover the neighborhoods of North Downtown, Martha Jefferson, Locust Grove and Belmont in 2015 and the entire City in 2016. The service is available at ting.com/internet for just $89/month.
“Communities across the United States recognize the value of a widely available gigabit at a reasonable price, but few have it,” explained Christopher Mitchell, Community Broadband Networks Director, Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “Despite a lot of promises and announcements, I estimate that fewer than 50 of the nearly 20,000 towns and cities in the country currently have an affordable gig available to a reasonable amount of residents. Charlottesville should be proud and excited to join that club.”
“I am thrilled with how the network and the service are coming along and delighted for the people of Charlottesville, but I am not at all pleased with the timing of this press release,” grumbled Elliot Noss, CEO of Tucows and Ting. “AT&T and Comcast have managed to get press releases out years before their Gigabit services have come to market. Ours comes over a week after launch. We clearly need to pick it up a notch.”
Tucows (tucows.com) is a provider of network access, domain names and other Internet services. Ting (ting.com) delivers mobile phone service and fixed Internet access with outstanding customer support. OpenSRS (opensrs.com) manages over fourteen million domain names and millions of value-added services through a global reseller network of over 13,000 web hosts and ISPs. Hover (hover.com) makes it easy for individuals and small businesses to manage their domain names and email addresses.
Investor Contact: Lawrence Chamberlain
P: 416-815-0700 x257 - E: lchamberlain[.]tmxequicom.com.