Cable and broadband price go up every year? Not in Wilson (video)

If you live in Raleigh, Durham, or Cary I’ll bet your cable and broadband rates have gone up during the past three years. The cable company has been out front in the national media, saying it’s a victim of rising prices from media companies.

Apparently, this national battle has no effect on Wilson. Since Wilson built its fiber-to-the-home Greenlight network three years ago, the cable company hasn’t asked for the annual price increases it once did.

Test it for yourself: Google their website and check rates for your home. Then check the rates for 27893, a local Wilson zip code.

At our December meeting with the NC House Select Committee on High Speed Internet Access in Rural and Urban Areas, Catharine Rice of Action Audits did a great job explaining the price differences between Raleigh, Durham and Wilson customers.

Here’s the video of Rice’s presentation and here’s a pdf of her slides.


On (no) snow days, you really see the value of fiber

The overnight snow that was supposed to hit this part of NC didn’t happen, but several counties in the area still had delays this morning.

If you accessed the web and you’re not a Greenlight member, you saw how unusually heavy traffic affects your speeds. Wilson’s fiber-to-the-home service carries higher bandwidth on regular days, but it really shows when traffic jumps.

Broadband customers share boxes of links to the internet. Picture a group of homes on a cul de sac. They all share the street. Wilson’s Greenlight was designed to have fewer customers on each link. Picture three houses on a cul de sac instead of 10. Fewer customers per line means better speeds and reliability when you need it.

Wilson’s fiber network means less waiting, more time for you

During a holiday visit with friends, I realized what it’s like to be without decent broadband.

I had just introduced the group to Rhett and Link. They’re a couple of guys here in NC who have churned out some hilarious online stuff, including the beloved Facebook Song (video).

About 30 seconds into each spot, the picture would stall while their DSL struggled to catch up. The fact that it locked up was no surprise. What DID surprise me was a remark from one of my frieneds. “Just pause it and wait. We do it all the time.” It was normal to him to start a video, then hit pause while the thing loaded.

Entertainment aside, there are  many reasons why true broadband -especially from fiber to the home networks- is just beginning to show what it can do.

Stacy Higginbotham did a great job explaining the need for fiber in her post to GigaOM, Why every ISP Needs a Fiber-to-the-Home Network.

Phone companies and many cable companies rely on copper that has been in place for decades. Here’s a line from Higginbotham’s post:

“At some point the telcos are going to have to take a hard look at their aging infrastructure and decide how much longer they should poor money into copper, much like you or I might do when evaluating whether or not to fix or junk a 12-year-old car.”

Wilson’s municipal broadband service is fiber to the home. It plugs right into a box on the side of your house.We think it’s the right thing to do, and would love it if the cable company would stop pushing for laws that stop NC cities from doing the same.