Ziply debuts 2-gig, 5-gig internet tiers in 60 cities

Ziply Fiber rolled out two new symmetrical multi-gigabit service tiers to customers in 60 markets in the Northwest U.S., after successfully trialing 2 Gbps and 5 Gbps internet plans in a handful of cities last month.

The two new plans will initially be available to nearly 170,000 service addresses across Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Customers in Montana will gain access to the multi-gig options later this quarter, with availability expected across most of the company’s existing footprint by the middle of the year.

CEO Harold Zeitz told Fierce more than half of Ziply’s customers already take its 1 Gbps plan, “so we already have customers who seem to want faster speeds compared to others.”

He added the December trial covered five markets across Washington and Oregon and included a sample group of “tens of customers” who proactively sought access to the faster speed tiers. “There were no problems whatsoever,” Zeitz said of the trial. “We were able to demonstrate measured speed and it gave us confidence to go ahead and launch it broadly.”

Pricing for the 2-gig tier runs $120 per month while the 5-gig tier costs $300 per month. Both multi-gig tiers will require users to get a special router that includes WiFi 6 compatibility, a 10G WAN port and either a 2.5G LAN port for the 2-gig plan or a greater than 5G LAN port for the 5-gig option.

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Zeitz said the plans will be offered in addition to its foundational 50 Mbps, 200 Mbps and 1 gig tiers, and will be available in every new market it launches from here on out. Ziply previously outlined a goal to reach 80% of its footprint with fiber within three years. Zeitz stated it hit the 40% mark by the end of 2021 and will continue deploying to a "few hundred thousand" new locations each year until it reaches its goal.

The CEO noted Ziply expects the multi-gig plans to account for “a single digit” percentage of its plan mix. In terms of who might spring for the new offerings, Zeitz said “certainly highly technical folks working from home at some of the large technical companies here in the greater Seattle-Portland area” and other households with high-bandwidth needs, for instance those that are home to employees working in the financial, telecommunications and digital media industries. He also pointed to medical practitioners as adoption of remote medicine continues to climb.

“This is for people to develop new use cases, et cetera,” Zeitz concluded. “I think we don’t know all the things that people will do and so we’re an enabler.”

Ziply joins a handful of other players offering multi-gig services in the U.S. Among others, North Dakota’s MLGC debuted a 5 Gbps service tier in 2020, while TDS rolled out a 2-gig offering and Dobson Fiber launched a 10 Gbps offering last year.