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Geek Chic

Indianola gets fastest Internet in Iowa


Let’s get this out of the way: Most people don’t utilize Internet speeds that are available to them. They pay a provider for access, likely through a phone or TV package, and check the same 10 websites. But ISPs often offer tiered options, and the difference between them is speed. That’s what the average consumer won’t understand. “Is it fast, or is it slow? Can I watch Netflix while my roommate plays WoW?” Usually, you can, but Indianola just announced a service where your whole house could have more Internet bandwidth than you’d know what to do with.                

To put things in perspective, the major Internet providers in the metro area provide Internet packages that top out at 20 megabits per second and can cost up to $75/month with discounts if you buy other services from them. Some areas can get 50mbps for way more money. Is that as fast as it gets? As it turns out, Indianola Municipal Utilities just opened up its fiber optic network for residential use, providing a speed-to-cost ratio that defies (business) logic. They are offering a 100mbps symmetrical, meaning both upload and download speed, for $50/month. With that kind of bandwidth, a full house of people could be streaming their own movies without slowing each other down.               

Indianola’s fiber optic speeds are definitely a record breaker in Iowa, but there’s a new sheriff in town to blow those speeds out of the water — too bad that town isn’t in Iowa. Kansas City (both of them) won a contest to get first dibs on Google’s new fiber network, and after a year of planning, Google is making plans to roll out its service of 1 gigabit per second — that’s 1,000mbps, or 50 times faster than the 20mbps standard, for $50/month. CV

Robert Anhalt is Director of Content at Geek Speak Forum and contributes to Cityview.

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