updated 01:12 pm EDT, Mon April 29, 2013
VTel charges $35 per month for gigabit Fiber connections
An Internet service provider has announced the launch of its fiber-based Internet service in the Vermont area, but this time it isn't Google. Vermont Telephone Company (VTel) has started to offer its customers gigabit Internet speeds over its new fiber optic network, and is managing to do so at half the price of Google Fiber.
Using $94 million in stimulus money, VTel has managed to create a network using around 1,200 miles of fiber around rural Vermont counties in the last year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Out of a possible 17,500 homes in the provider's catchment area, so far only 600 homes have subscribed to the $35-per-month service, with VTel hoping to roll out the service to more homes in the coming months.
Though being a rural area and far from the current Google Fiber locations including Austin, Provo, and Kansas City, Google's Internet service apparently helped VTel gain its stimulus funding. The company's first attempt to receive government funding was denied, but the second attempt, after Google announced its plans to build out its Fiber networks, was successful. "Google has really given us more encouragement," said VTel Chief Executive Michael Guite.
Regardless of size, VTel is not the only Internet provider to try and take on Google. Shortly after Google revealed its Fiber expansion in Austin, AT&T announced it would be building out its own gigabit fiber network in the city. Time Warner and Comcast, also operational in Austin, have yet to respond to either Fiber upgrade project.