Although it seems unlikely, downtown Detroit has become the place to be if you want very fast broadband speeds at a cheap price.
Recently, LightSpeed Communications announced that they have connected several buildings in downtown Detroit with their 1 Gbps service. The service will be available for residents and businesses.
This comes after Cleveland Cavaliers Owner and Rocket Fiber Founder Dan Gilbert announced months ago that he was also planning on installing buildings with his own 1 Gbps service for both residents and businesses. Rocket Fiber expects to be ready for launch this fall.
While Rocket Fiber has said they will charge consumers $70 per month for the 1 Gbps service, LightSpeed has now announced that they will charge consumers just $65 per month for the same service.
But what if someone in downtown Detroit wants to receive 1 Gbps speeds from Comcast or AT&T? As MLive notes, customers would have to pay $1,600 a month for a gigabit of service from Comcast in Detroit.
As I have written about previously, consumers in/around Detroit have been forced to deal with Comcast for years. In 2006, Comcast & AT&T pushed through deregulation laws which allowed Comcast to get out of hundreds of franchise deals with local governments. Since then, Detroit customers have suffered the same fate as every other cities who allows the major ISP’s to gut almost all consumer protection laws.
Specifically in Michigan, let’s see how massive deregulation helped the state:
- The price of Comcast’s cheapest cable package has increased by 25% in many cities;
- The price of Comcast’s other other service tiers has increased between 9%-25%.
- The high majority of Comcast local service stations for people to visit around the state for customer service have been closed.
- Even though many cities in Michigan had franchise agreements with Comcast that mandated certain services (such as Comcast needing to support local TV channels), Comcast was able to simply ignore these agreements after they successfully lobbied Michigan legislators to change local franchise rules.