Vermont's ultra-cheap gigabit Internet rivals Google Fiber

Many are drooling over Google Fiber, dreaming of ultra-fast downloads and uploads that are zipped off into cyberspace in the blink of an eye. While Google's fiber network is certainly nice, every now and again a new player emerges to remind us that it could be better. Such is the case the Vermont Telephone Company, which is offering state residents gigabit Internet for $35 a month.

Vermont Telephone Company is a rural business that serves about 17,500 homes, of which 600 so far have subscribed to the ISP's gigabit Internet offering. The service went live this month, and has one very notable feature over other offerings: it only cost $35 per month. That is half the monthly fee charged by Google for its Google Fiber network.

How does a small company manage to afford the installation of a fiber network, especially in light of the svelte monthly charge? Primarily via federal stimulus awards to the tune of $94 million. The funds were used to set up 1,200 miles of fiber to multiple rural counties in the state, a process that took about a year. Those who aren't currently in the locations being serviced by the fiber network should be by the end of this year.

Vermont Telephone Company's CEO Michel Guite has given a nod to Google Fiber, saying that the stimulus money was denied until after Google had announced its project, after which point VTel was granted the funds. He says that the provider has been holding public educational meetings at libraries in the state to help educate consumers about gigabit Internet.

[via WSJ]