Consolidated trots out 2-gig service across fiber footprint

Consolidated Communications followed through on plans to deploy a symmetrical 2-gig service this month, making the offer available in all of its fiber markets.

The new tier runs $165 per month, a rate more than double the $70 per month cost of its 1-gig service. There’s no data cap or contract and the price includes a Wi-Fi 6 gateway and up to two extenders to deliver whole-home coverage. Wi-Fi speed tests, content settings and access controls are available through Consolidated’s Attune Wi-Fi app.

Though service is available in all of Consolidated’s fiber markets, an operator representative told Fierce only about 70% of its fiber serviceable addresses qualify for it today. That figure is set to expand over time, the rep added.

As of the end of Q1 2022, Consolidated passed nearly 690,000 locations with fiber, or approximately 25% of its service area. On the operator’s earnings call, CEO Bob Udell said it planned to bump that percentage up to 37% by the end of 2022. He added about 60% of its nearly 94,000 fiber customers were taking its 1-gig service as of the end of the quarter.

Udell told Fierce in January he didn’t yet see a competitive driver for it to offer a multi-gig service tier, but it appears the demand landscape has rapidly changed. On the earnings call in May, he hinted a 2-gig offer was imminent.

The operator representative stated “There is demand for 2-gig services specifically from super-consumers, gamers, remote workers with high-bandwidth needs and some folks who crave the fastest speeds out there. Our Fidium Fiber service is all about giving our customers the best we can deliver and constantly raising the bar on delivering the best broadband experience.”

Consolidated is targeting the addition of 400,000 new fiber locations this year, with 265,000 passings spread across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont and the remainder distributed across Texas, California, Illinois, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

The operator’s multi-gig offer falls on the higher end of the price spectrum when compared to 2-gig products from other fiber players. Google Fiber’s 2-gig service is the cheapest at $100 per month, but it notably does not offer symmetrical speeds, instead offering a 1 Gbps upload rate. AT&T and Cox Communications both offer symmetrical 2-gig fiber service for $110 per month, while Verizon, Altice USA and Ziply provide the same for $120 per month. Meanwhile, Frontier Communications’ 2-gig service is $149.99 per month.