How Widespread will Gigabit Competition Be?

Gigabit networks now have become the value-price umbrella under which Internet service providers in a growing number of communities must operate. 

To be sure, not every neighborhood will have access to one or more providers, nor is it clear that demand is present in every neighborhood of every city. 

In all likelihood, supply will tend to be deployed where there is expected demand. 

Some might worry that there will not be competition in many, or most markets. 

Some of us would bet there will ultimately be two or more ISPs offering such service in most markets where major cable and telco ISPs compete head to head.

Where cable and telco ISPs face each other as direct competitors, it seems logical that, over time, contestants will try and maintain parity, at least, with the key competitor. 

That doesn't always mean gigabit access. In many neighborhoods, 100 Mbps or 300 Mbps might match demand characteristics better. But in such neighborhoods, many of us still would bet there will be a minimum of two providers.

The big difference in future markets is that satellite ISPs and fixed wireless ISPs will not be able to match the 300 Mbps to 1 Gbps speeds, and will have to concentrate on segments of the market uninterested in buying the faster services. 

This diagram by Gigaom illustrates the current state of affairs. 

Chart provided by Gig.U.
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