Mediacom rolls out gigabit internet to 309 Iowa communities

CLOSEMediacom Rolls Out Gigabit Internet To 309 Iowa Communities Mediacom Rolls Out Gigabit Internet To 309 Iowa Communities

Mediacom’s gigabit service is now available to all customers in the 309 Iowa communities the company serves. In total, more than 1 million Iowa households have access to Mediacom’s cable and internet services. Wochit

Mediacom Rolls Out Gigabit Internet To 309 Iowa CommunitiesBuy Photo

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Rocco Commisso isn’t sure what kind of interest Iowans will have in Mediacom’s 1 gigabit broadband service or how fast they’ll adopt the new ultra-fast feature.

“We don’t know,” the Mediacom founder, chairman and CEO said Wednesday. “The message from us, when it comes and when the people want it: We’re ready, and we’re there.”

Mediacom announced Wednesday that it has finalized a system-wide upgrade making 1 gigabit internet service available to all its Iowa residential customers, representing a major boost in potential internet speeds across the state. In addition to making video streaming and high-tech gaming faster, officials say the faster service could open the door for more home-based businesses. Yet officials acknowledge that the technology’s real-world uses are still emerging, particularly for residential consumers.

“1 gigabit still in many households is a future technology,” said Ed Pardini, Mediacom’s senior vice president for operations. “There are no applications right now that can actually use up to 1 gig.”

While other internet providers have made headlines adding gigabit service to entire cities, state officials celebrated the breadth of Mediacom’s rollout: gigabit service is now available to all customers in the 309 Iowa communities the company serves. In total, more than 1 million of Iowa’s 1.35 million households can access Mediacom’s cable and internet services. The New York-based company recently invested $1 billion to ready for the gigabit rollout.

The gigabit service is more than 15 times faster than Mediacom’s advertised introductory internet speed of 60 megabits per second.

“Some companies with names like Google, Comcast — you know, little mom-and-pop shops — they talk about lighting up a city: Kansas City; Chattanooga, Tenn.,” Pardini quipped. “Today, these leaders are going to turn on an entire state.”

But the gigabit service is not available to all Iowans, particularly those in rural areas that have traditionally lacked broadband service. And for those who do have access, gigabit coverage isn’t cheap.

The cost of the gig

The company will offer the gigabit service for $139.99 per month, and a slower 500 megabit internet service for $119.99 per month. But certain bundled promotions will bring the combined cost of the gigabit and cable television below $100 per month, said Mediacom spokeswoman Phyllis Peters. For comparison, Mediacom’s introductory internet service of 60 megabits per second is listed at $54.99 per month.

Gigabit internet service initially will be offered only as a wired product, meaning users will have to plug in to access it. It should work with wireless routers within the next few months, Peters said.

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