SureWest, which believes strongly in fiber service, is busy laying fiber in conduits in Fairway, Mission, Roeland Park — all in Kansas. It also offers service in Lenexa, Overland Park, Shawnee and parts of Kansas City, Mo.
With all of this fiber, some Kansans may soon be able to choose between two competing fiber to the home providers.
SureWest General Manager of Kansas City operations Matt Zuschlag says SureWest’s fiber broadband service, which tops out at 50/50Mbps, will work just as well as Google’s gigabit (1,000Mbps) service because most web sites don’t need super fast speeds to load equally as fast. Even some bandwidth-intensive applications will not be able to take full advantage of Google’s fiber speeds because the networks currently supporting them were not designed to deliver sustained gigabit speed to end users.
SureWest works good enough for communities like Prairie Village, which is asking the company to wire its community for fiber service, regardless of where Google expands next.
SureWest competes with traditional cable and phone companies — Time Warner Cable and AT&T in the case of northern Kansas, and sells traditional triple play packages of phone, Internet, and television service.
But SureWest says its fiber network is always laid underground, which the company says offers improved reliability. Google Fiber is being installed largely on overhead lines alongside other utility services. SureWest says going underground allows it to skip the delays associated with obtaining pole use permits.