OneGigabit announces launch of 1 Gbps service in Vancouver

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Vancouver-based Internet provider OneGigabit announced it will offer 1 Gbps speeds to its customers in the GVRD [Greater Vancouver Regional District] for $45 to $65 monthly.

The recently-launched startup, founded by telecommunications and computer networking expert Eric Kunkhe, also said its service will not have bandwidth caps.

Although Calgary-based Shaw Communications offers 1 Gbps service to limited areas of Vancouver, OneGigabit hopes to provide its service to the entire GVRD, making it an attractive option for those without access to Shaw's network.

The service provider could face some obstacles to its rollout, however. Much of Canada's last mile network has not been upgraded from copper to costly fiber, making the delivery of 1 Gbps service to some buildings and neighborhoods impossible.

OneGigabit has addressed this challenge by saying it intends to work "in partnership with local real estate development firms, outside plant cabling contractors and telecommunications industry professionals [to serve] the vast majority of MDUs (multiple dwelling units) in the GVRD which presently lack access to underground fiber optic cables."

Kunkhe added in an interview with CBC News that it makes more financial sense to serve multiple areas. "To be frank, it's uneconomical to serve a single client, with the construction costs that are involved to run fibre to one particular tenant to the building," he said.

OneGigabit could prove the Canadian equivalent of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Fiber, the 1 Gbps service launched by Google in Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo., in September 2012. That service costs $70 monthly, with an option to add television service for a total of $120 monthly. Google Fiber has announced plans to expand to Austin, Texas, Provo, Utah, Shawnee, Kan., and Mission, Kan., but has given no definite rollout dates.

For more:
- see the CBC News article
- check out the press release

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