Gigabit Squared high-speed Internet service deal reportedly ‘dead’

January 7, 2014 at 2:18 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle online | 32 Comments

The plan for a startup called Gigabit Squared to bring high-speed Internet to neighborhoods including part of West Seattle is dead, the Puget Sound Business Journal says this afternoon. This comes days after GeekWire reported that Gigabit Squared wasn’t paying a $52,000 bill it had racked up for city engineers’ time, and shortly after Publicola pointed out a Chicago report that GB2 was on the rocks there. Last year, then-Mayor McGinn announced in his 2013 State of the City speech that the plan would expand to include part of West Seattle, and GB2 announced its pricing plan in July, but there had been no updates since then.

32 Comments

  1. We have public utilities here, forget a private partner. We need Seattle City Fiber. Comcast is the worst, except for every other option available.

    Comment by Jeff — 2:31 pm January 7, 2014 #

  2. This make me sad. I couldn’t agree with you more Jeff. I just want more options.

    Comment by martin — 2:44 pm January 7, 2014 #

  3. Really disappointing. Looks like I have no choice but to be stuck with the Comcast monopoly. In a city so closely associated with being at the forefront of technology the state of 21st century Internet connectivity in Seattle is a joke.

    Comment by cjboffoli — 2:45 pm January 7, 2014 #

  4. YES. Seattle City Fiber would be grand.

    Comment by Joe Szilagyi — 2:51 pm January 7, 2014 #

  5. makes me so sad….. Perhaps someone could get the new mayor to get this moving along??

    Comment by coffee — 3:35 pm January 7, 2014 #

  6. +1 to everything CJBoffoli said (except ‘sticking with Comcast’, I refuse.
    I guess we are stuck with Clear)

    Comment by sam-c — 3:36 pm January 7, 2014 #

  7. The sad thing is that Tacoma has had a city owned fiber network that provides cable tv and internet (Click!) for years, functioning reasonably well. Tacoma Power, their equivalent of City Light, built the infrastructure and franchises to private service providers to use the network.

    In many states, the incumbent telcos and cable monopolies have managed to make such arrangements illegal, but I don’t think that’s the case here. Time for a citizen’s initiative?

    Comment by Dan — 3:53 pm January 7, 2014 #

  8. Is anyone really surprised? An utterly predictable result from the former mayor’s do-little administration. Lot’s of dreamy talk & hype, but no action or substance. Perfectly McGinn in every way.

    Comment by pjmanley — 4:06 pm January 7, 2014 #

  9. @coffee: be sure you contact the mayor yourself! If we all do, enough of us, that’s what could move it along. We live in a democracy, and if we all wait for “someone” to take action, well….

    Comment by J — 4:15 pm January 7, 2014 #

  10. good to know Dan; agree; we need to make this happen; everyone in Seattle should have access to high speed internet; and it should be free; or at least start with low cost/reasonable cost

    Comment by Diane — 4:21 pm January 7, 2014 #

  11. It is not gonna happen. Yeah, kids, Comcast and C-Link are gonna just roll over? You betcha. hahaha

    Comment by Genesee Hill — 4:47 pm January 7, 2014 #

  12. Sadly – if you want high speed internet… Comcast is currently the only game in town.

    Comment by kevin — 4:57 pm January 7, 2014 #

  13. Comcast draws a very profitable sigh of relief!

    Oops! I mean Xfinity.

    Comment by MotoMike — 5:07 pm January 7, 2014 #

  14. Really, pjmanley? You’re blaming McGinn for the fail of a private company to pay its bills? That’s just baseless nonsense. McGinn is out of office. Get over it already!

    Comment by Yourekiddingme — 5:25 pm January 7, 2014 #

  15. http://m.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/10/31/comcast-is-donating-heavily-to-defeat-the-mayor-who-is-bringing-gigabit-fiber-to-seattle/

    Jus sayin

    Comment by Westside — 6:27 pm January 7, 2014 #

  16. It was obscene when the City granted Comcast a monopoly and for some reason, it never comes up for a “sunset” review.
    -
    Our garbage does, and Cleanscapes comes in and gets a piece of the action. Despite the widespread changes in broadband capacity and technology since 1997, we still get stuck with Cr@ptastic Comcast service. I have ADSL with CenturyLink, and while it is reliable it is slow. RIP Gigabit, we hardly knew ye. Maybe we can use the quiescent MESH surveillance network the city installed?

    Comment by JayDee — 6:39 pm January 7, 2014 #

  17. “Perfectly McGinn in every way.” Oh, Boy Howdy!

    Comment by raybro — 6:39 pm January 7, 2014 #

  18. Not sure how it’s McGinn’s fault. Comcast donated “heavily” to Murray’s campaign. At least McGinn was trying to make it happen instead of being in bed with the enemy.

    http://m.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/10/31/comcast-is-donating-heavily-to-defeat-the-mayor-who-is-bringing-gigabit-fiber-to-seattle/

    Comment by AZ — 7:51 pm January 7, 2014 #

  19. “Not sure how it’s McGinn’s fault”.

    An utterly predictable result from the former mayor’s do-little administration. Lot’s of dreamy talk & hype, but no action or substance. Perfectly McGinn in every way.

    Of course Comcast was protecting “their turf”. If McGinn was really serious about better internet, he would have proposed a viable solution, getting City Light into the fiber business. Good riddens to that Blowhole Fraud.

    Comment by raybro — 8:59 pm January 7, 2014 #

  20. If comcasts campaign contribution is what ousted McGinn, hell I should thank them and add Showtime.

    Comment by Mike — 9:17 pm January 7, 2014 #

  21. I would love to find a few dedicated folks that would help in writing a ballot measure to end the Comcast strangle hold on high speed and cable. I have talk about it for 3 years now as a joke with my friends as my gift to society to one day make that happen. I don’t know if seattle would take on creating its own network but at least open it up to competition for other providers. My brother has Click! Down in Tacoma and loves it when compared to Comcast.

    Comment by Dan — 9:35 pm January 7, 2014 #

  22. Can none of you guys get DSL? Works good for me. Maybe you are too far from the Central office to keep the speed up? I share your distain for Comcast.

    Comment by Seabreeze — 12:25 am January 8, 2014 #

  23. raybro: mcginn did find the best option for beating comcast, and there are pitifully few. look: how many entities have the money or the resources to compete with comcast? he seems to have found the only one. the obvious problem is that they ran out of money. there has been talk of FTTH in seattle for almost 20 years, but mcginn came closer than anyone to inking a deal.
    .
    regarding the city running its own FTTH network, this is, unfortunately, illegal under current state telecommunications law. a municipal public utility cannot provide end-user retail services; only wholesale. they can own the transmission lines, but they can’t provide the internet or cable services.
    .
    however, a public trust is a private entity. any lawyers or billionaires out there wannna look into that and get the ball rolling?
    .
    bezos? allen? gates? schultz? boeing? hello?
    .
    tacoma power started click! network prior to this 2002 law. and for the record, they are still running cable television over electricity transmission lines. i don’t know if they have a fiber network, but if they do, it’s probably run by a private entity like frontier or wave.

    Comment by redblack — 6:02 am January 8, 2014 #

  24. Dan: i believe comcast’s current 10-year contract with seattle is up in 2016. so, yeah. now would be the time to get involved in leaning on the council to stop them from giving comcast another profit-laden contract. this city pays some of the highest cable bills in the country for the least amount of service.

    Comment by redblack — 6:07 am January 8, 2014 #

  25. This is unfortunate to see. Now I suppose our only hope is for Google Fiber to come here, or perhaps Microsoft get in the game? I had hoped the latter might. With their big push into the hardware sector, the next logical step seems to provide the service the facilitate the use of said hardware, but I know that’s a big step.

    Does anyone in West Seattle have Century Link that can comment on its performance? I’ve been tempted to switch, but while the prices are better, I have heard speeds are lacking.

    All that said, I’d pay the same money I do to Comcast to anyone else that could provide some semblance of competent customer service and human decency.

    Comment by Eli — 8:01 am January 8, 2014 #

  26. seabreeze, you would think we would have access to DSL, right?
    we tried to sign up with Qwest (via their Southcenter mall kiosk) about 7 years ago, soon after we had moved into our house. at the kiosk, we were told they had service at our house and so we signed up. 3 weeks later when we hadn’t been serviced or set up yet, we called to find out what the deal was. the response was, “oh, I guess our DSL doesn’t service your street after all…” I haven’t checked lately, but I assume that is still the case?

    Comment by sam-c — 8:41 am January 8, 2014 #

  27. Things do change. Our area initially didn’t have Qwest/CenturyLink available but when we checked back a few years ago, it did. We have both because, given our business, we need to have as many redundancies as possible (in addition to two home services, we also have Verizon and Sprint mi-fis, for working in the field and for home outage backups). I prefer the CenturyLink connection, at least for what I do, which involves a lot of photos, some video uploading, and of course lots of text. The connection has been more reliable – TR

    Comment by WSB — 8:47 am January 8, 2014 #

  28. I’ve had Clear since 2007 and still pay what I paid back then – $25 a month. It’s perfectly acceptable for what I do (general web surfing, streaming, uploading photos, etc.) and is reliable. Only one outage lasting more than a few minutes in the six years I’ve had it.

    Comment by higginh2 — 12:43 pm January 8, 2014 #

  29. Hey redblack….
    How is a non viable option (GB2) nothing more “dreamy talk and hype”? Don’t you think a serious Mayor would have done a little homework instead of just spouting bogus platitudes? I also don’t see why City Light can’t build the network and then have some say in the price others charge to provide content over their network. If it would make sense that they also be able to provide content, then laws can be changed. It takes people in power that know what they are dealing with, and have the will to change it. Not saying it’s easy, but it is doable.

    Comment by raybro — 9:13 pm January 8, 2014 #

  30. The mayor posted an update of sorts on his own site:
    .
    http://murray.seattle.gov/an-update-on-the-status-of-a-fiber-to-home-network-in-seattle/

    Comment by WSB — 11:11 pm January 8, 2014 #

  31. Raybro:
    .
    It takes people in power that know what they are dealing with, and have the will to change it. Not saying it’s easy, but it is doable.
    .
    lol. you’re preaching to the choir there, bro.

    Comment by redblack — 2:26 pm January 9, 2014 #

  32. @Eli:
    I have C-Link service on Genesee Hill but my situation is complicated by the fact that I live in a small area of the neighborhood that apparently can’t receive more than 5 megabit service due to… they’re not really sure. I’ve had techs and trucks out here several times to troubleshoot the poor service but no real answers. The best I could make out was that there’s a bridgetap on the phone line nearby, but since it seems to be underground I was told they can’t touch it because of certain politics between them and the city. I had 12MB when I lived about 8 blocks away. In short, I’d make sure their promise of high-speed service is true for your block.

    Comment by Steve D — 6:44 pm January 9, 2014 #

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