Thursday, August 6, 2015

Ting Ponders Gigabit Network Expansion to Perhaps a Half Dozen New Locations

Ting, perhaps better known as a mobile services supplier, also sells gigabit Internet access in two U.S. communities, Winchester, Md., a community of about 18,600, and Charlottesville, Va. , a community of about 45,000, and home to a major Virginia university.

The company now is looking at entering other markets. “We are probably looking at going forward with five or six markets,” said Elliot Noss, Ting CEO.

It would not be surprising to see Ting target communities unlikely to get Google Fiber.

In many ways, the new trend of independent Internet service providers building new gigabit Internet access networks reminds me of the earlier development of competitive local exchange carriers in the wake of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

You had an explosion of providers, including many independent firms, but also firms such as AT&T and MCI (Worldcom, at some point).

In the end, most of the CLECs faltered, including AT&T and Worldcom (MCI).

But something substantial did happen: cable TV providers emerged nationwide as the long term winners in the CLEC business. At the same time, a few legacy telcos, including notably Frontier Communications and Windstream, emerged as significant CLECs.

What eventually happens with the growing number of U.S. gigabit ISPs is yet to be settled. The CLEC market initially featured lots of players--with a few name brand contestants. It might not have been expected that cable TV companies would come to dominate the business.

Other surprises are possible with the gigabit ISP market as well.

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