Once upon a time, 1 Gbps of internet speeds courtesy of a fiber-optic connection seemed like a mind-blowingly fast connection. On Wednesday, a small broadband provider in the northwest will begin offering a 50 Gbps service — upload and download — to its customers.
Ziply Fiber, a Kirkland, Washington, broadband provider will launch the service to its entire footprint, which spans communities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana. It doesn’t come cheap — the service costs $900 a month on top of a $600 installation fee. Customers are also expected to provide their own router and switch and any additional in-home hardware or wiring for this service.
The service marks the fastest symmetrical (equal upload and download) speeds in the nation, and builds up on the small company’s history of pushing the envelope with internet speeds. It launched its 10 Gbps service earlier this year after delivering 5 Gbps in 2022. In comparison, Comcast just launched its next-generation DOCSIS 4.0 network in a handful of communities that promises 10 Gbps of download speeds, while Google offers 8 Gbps of symmetrical speeds in certain markets.
It’s unlikely that a lot of consumers will want to sign up for the service — 50 Gbps is almost certainly too much bandwidth for a household unless it’s running multiple businesses and live-streaming multiple feeds each day — and is more a nod to the future of when consumption actually does catch up to this kind of capacity. It also brings Ziply some attention.
“Whether they choose our new 50 Gig service tier or any other fiber plan, customers can feel confident they’re on the best and fastest network available, regardless of speed tier,” Ziply CEO Harold Zeitz said in a statement. “That’s what today’s launch is about.”
Ziply cites Elizabeth Alba, city manager of Sunnywide, Washington, who talks about the value that the company is bringing with its service. “
“The introduction of a fiber-optic network, now with speeds up to 50 Gig, closes the digital divide here in Sunnyside and ensures we have the broadband infrastructure necessary to support economic growth for decades to come,” she said.