Many of us living in Northampton are outraged by the prices Comcast charges for high-speed Internet access. Not only are their most popular plans like the “up to” 15mbps (megabits per second) not really high speed anymore, they are pricey. The 15mbps service costs $49.95/month as of this writing.
Still, whether paying $49.95/month to Comcast for 15mbps or $104.95 for “up to” 1gbps, just be glad you don’t have a business in Northampton that depends on high-speed Internet. Northampton High-speed Community Network Coalition member Ryan Cheevers-Brown recently testified about Comcast’s business pricing in front of the Northampton City Council. See his presentation below (start at 5:00):
Ryan learned that if a business wants a 1gbps symmetrical fiber optic connection from Comcast, the cost is from $1000 to $1200 per month. In addition, the costs to run a fiber optic cable to your business can run up to $50,000!
In short, a business thinking of relocating to Northampton to take advantage of its low costs of connectivity had best look elsewhere because there is virtually no competition for high-speed internet here in Northampton at present. A community network could change this, dropping costs dramatically for businesses here, and encouraging these businesses to move here.