The Internet press in the USA have lamented the lack of real competition for consumer fixed-line broadband services. This has come about with an incumbent telephony provider, typically a “Baby Bell”, offering the ADSL service along with one of the big cable-TV names like Comcast, Cox or Time-Warner Cable providing the cable-modem service for most markets.
Typically these companies have been given exclusive franchise to sell telephony or cable-TV to that particular market and these companies own the infrastructure to the customer’s home. Concepts like loop unbundling where a competing provider has direct access to the electrical infrastructure have been met with resistance in the American market.
Now Google Fiber have established their fibre-to-the-premises infrastructure in Provo, Utah by buying the iProvo network in that town and is starting to light up the service there. This has caused Comcast to be worried and had them offer packages like a 250Mbps pure-play Internet service for US$80 and double-play TV+105Mbps Internet services for US$70-100. The “Free Utopia” blog had quoted that the impending competition is good for the customer.
I also wonder whether the established “Baby Bell” telephone provider will raise the bar and offer attractive ADSL deals in response to the impending arrival of Google Fiber. Other issues that will be interesting to observe include whether the competition will also affect how Comcast behaves towards their customers such as customer-support issues and service-level agreements including Net Neutrality.