Metronet, an Evansville-based communications service provider, announced Thursday that it has significantly boosted its maximum internet speeds to customers in rural central Indiana, a move that may strengthen its market position against bigger rivals.
Company officials said customers in 18 communities – including Franklin, Greencastle and Vincennes – now have access to 1-gigabit-per-second speeds, 20 times faster than the 50-megabits-per-second speeds it previously offered.
The firm, which started in 2005, uses fiber optic cable lines instead of the slower copper-based cables common in the industry. The firm’s main competitor is Comcast. Company officials said the upgrade is intended to enhance economic growth prospects for smaller communities.
“By delivering access to the fastest Internet speeds in the country,” Metronet President John Cinelli said in prepared remarks, “we are placing our customers at the forefront of the broadband revolution and creating a foundation that will make the cities and rural communities we serve stronger.”
Customers who want the 1-gbps speeds will have to pay a new premium price, though Metronet officials didn’t specify the amount. Customers previously at the 50-mbps tier will jump to a new 200-mbps tier at no additional cost. According to its website, the lowest price for its “Triple Play” package at 50 mbps is $76 per month.
Metronet officials didn’t detail any plans to enter the Indianapolis market other than saying it “continues to look at all business opportunities where it can bring its 100 percent fiber optic technology to help the community thrive.”