We may be waiting for Google to show fiber operators how it's done with its 1Gbps community fiber project, but over in Hong Kong it's already becoming reality. Today HKBN, a subsidiary of City Telecom (NASDAQ:CTEL, news, filings), introduced a residential 1Gbps symmetric service for the equivalent of just $26/month. That's just double the price they charge for their 100Mb/s offering, which just came out in November.
As cities go Hong Kong is rather unique, and thus comparing its telecommunications infrastructure to any US city is always an apples to oranges scenario. However, it still makes me shake my head at how far away such connectivity seems here in the US. We might learn more from a real commercial 1Gbps attempt now than from Google's research network that won't see the light of day for a couple years. The economics differ of course, but they're using the same fiber and the same gear that others can buy. Just how different is it, really?
I wonder how much of that bandwidth the average Hong Kong consumer will manage to use. IP transit isn't exactly cheap in the Far East.
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