Ting is first tenant on Colorado Springs Utilities open access fiber network

Colorado Springs Utilities in Colorado has established a city-wide open access fiber network. And its first anchor tenant — Ting Internet — is now offering 2-gigabit internet to customers.

The municipal utility is still in the process of building its fiber infrastructure, and when complete, its network will be able to serve over 200,000 addresses across the city. Although the utility is building the network for its own electric business, it will also make it available to some internet service providers in an open access network model.

Travas Deal, CEO of Colorado Springs Utilities, said in a statement, "Today, we are excited to see Ting, our initial anchor tenant, leverage that same fiber infrastructure to bring even more value and choice to our city."

For its part, Ting is an interesting type of fiber provider in the U.S., using different business strategies to deliver fiber to customers. Sometimes it builds and owns its own networks. But other times, it leverages municipal-owned backbone fiber and then builds last mile connections to residential customers. Or, in the case with Colorado Springs Utilities, it acts as an anchor tenant on the fiber network of a city or utility.

Colorado Springs is Ting’s largest market to date. Ting, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tucows, operates in 16 towns in California, Colorado, Idaho, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia and Arizona.

Amol Naik, Ting’s SVP of public policy and community engagement, told Fierce Telecom, “When we build fiber to the home, there is a multi-service terminal that feeds each individual service drop (or line) to each residence. When a resident orders our service, we build the service drop from that multi-service terminal to the customer’s home.”

Customers in Colorado Springs will now be able to sign up for Ting's 2-gigabit fiber internet for $89 per month, which provides both download and upload speeds of 2,000 Mbps.

"At Ting, we believe the internet is a crucial part of our day-to-day lives — it's a utility like water or electricity,” said Deb Walker, community engagement and public affairs manager at Ting, in a statement. “While other internet service providers may throttle the network to different levels as a pricing strategy, we don't do that. If our network can support 2-gigabits, that's what we're giving our customers at one fair price."

Free internet for ACP subscribers

Ting is also offering 2 Gbps internet to all Colorado Springs residents who qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) at no cost to them. While currently only available in select markets, in time, Ting expects to roll out the 2-gigabit ACP offering to its markets across the country.

Typically, customers who qualify for ACP receive a discount of $30 per month on their broadband bill.

Recently, the Federal Communications Commission issued an order allowing consumers in underserved and “qualifying high-cost areas” to receive up to $75 in monthly ACP subsidies.