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Hill Country About To Get Fastest Internet in South Texas: Non-Profit Co-Op Provides Fiber That Bigger Providers Won’t

Phillip Dampier December 16, 2009 Broadband Speed, Competition, GVTC Communications, Video 6 Comments

GVTCGVTC Communications yesterday launched 40Mbps service across its service area — the Hill Country north of San Antonio — marking a new broadband speed achievement for south Texas.

The company providing the service is about to reap the rewards of a $35 million investment in a fiber-to-the-home network reaching 80 percent of customers in North San Antonio and the Hill Country.  The new premium speed tier bests the company’s current 20Mbps service, and also includes 10Mbps upstream speed for $89.95 a month with a contract.

GVTC says it can deliver even faster speeds, upwards of 100Mbps, but wants to see what kind of demand they have for 40Mbps service first.

GVTC’s speeds will leave San Antonio’s Time Warner Cable and AT&T U-verse customers drooling.  GVTC speeds achieve nearly twice the speed of either provider, and leaves them in the dust when comparing upload speeds.  The company provides true fiber connections straight to customer homes, not the fiber-copper systems both cable and AT&T rely on.

GVTC Communications explains the benefits of fiber to the home service.  (4 minutes)

GVTC believes upstream speeds are particularly important for the area’s small businesses, as well as families with multimedia to share.

AT&T U-verse last week announced a speed upgrade to 24Mbps service in San Antonio, but their upstream speed tops out at 3Mbps.  Time Warner Cable currently provides San Antonio customers up to 15Mbps service with 2Mbps upstream speeds.

Time Warner Cable spokesperson Jon Gary Herrera said the company will respond with an upgrade to DOCSIS 3 in San Antonio as soon as the first half of 2010.  The upgrade, dubbed “Wideband” in marketing materials, will provide connections up to 50Mbps downstream and 5Mbps upstream.

On September 13, 2007 KSAT-TV San Antonio ran this report about Boerne getting new fiber optic access through GVTC.  (2 minutes)

That GVTC Communications was able to handily beat both AT&T and Time Warner Cable in both product offerings and fiber optic deployment may be a result of the company’s status as a non-profit cooperative.  The more revenue the company brings in, the more the company returns to its customers in the form of Capital Credits.  GVTC has always been a major innovator in Texas, being the first phone cooperative in Texas to launch cable television service in the 1980s and the company began using fiber in the 1990s.  The company’s service area spans 2,000 square miles and eleven counties, some rural.  Despite questions about whether wiring rural customers would provide sufficient return, the company went ahead with the project anyway, which today permits the cooperative to enjoy revenue from telephone, television, and broadband service.  It also permits many of their less-urban customers to enjoy the same level of service as the “big city folks.”

Currently there are 6 comments on this Article:

  1. Kevin says:

    It’s amazing how some strong competition gives the TWC and ATT incentive to actually improve their networks.

  2. Jason says:

    And here’s the rub. TWC And ATT won’t upgrade their networks UNLESS they face competition, and ONLY in the areas where they face that competition. TWC will upgrade to Docsis 3 in San Antonio, but not 40 miles north in Austin.

    Lovely.

    • slimj091 says:

      “TWC will upgrade to Docsis 3 in San Antonio, but not 40 miles north in Austin.”

      not only that but they will dub the upgrade Roadrunner Ultra-Turbo, and charge subscribers $120-$150 a month for it.

  3. slimj091 says:

    why can’t we have more companies like GVTC? i mean i know it’s a co-op, and not a company like AT&T or TWC. but expanding service to rural customers on the principal that they deserve high speed access just as much as urban customers do? increasing capacity to keep up with consumer demand instead of putting in place double bandwidth caps? I am very envious of the people living in north san antonio

    • I live in North SA and I am not able to get service from GVTC… it is only offered in the hill country… Not sure if Comal county is covered… but you need to live way the F up 281 and such to get this service… I am 2 blocks from the city limit (Evans & Bulverde road) and can’t get this.. stuck with TWC.. even if they do docsis 3, I am not upgrading… It is too damn expensive already… and I have no need for the super-duper-docsis3-service… it is not like I run a seedbox… lame 15/2 is good enough…

  4. for the love of god we need internet in devine texas!!!!!!!!! the best service is 3meg download and 1 meg upload for a whopping 69.99 a month.. talk about a rip off…. so 89.99 for 40meg service is not bad . if peolpe in sanantonio dont want to pay the price then bring the service out here and make millions of dollars!! thx thave a great day 🙂

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