Kansas City a rare market of broadband competition

Google Fiber’s debut of its high-speed internet service in Kansas City nearly four years ago has meant there may be no other place where consumers can buy industrial-strength bandwidth so cheaply. AT&T and Consolidated Communications now roughly match Google’s gigabit-speed hookups and prices — at least in select neighborhoods — and Time Warner Cable fattened its bandwidth in response.

And because humans gravitate toward simplicity, we bundle our services whenever we can.

Competition to land the job of full-service portal in the digital age drives ongoing consolidation of the companies that deliver internet and TV service, challenging whether the availability of cheap bandwidth seen in Kansas City will emerge elsewhere.

“Every advance in technology… has been followed by a brief period of consolidation,” said Larry Gerbrandt, a cable industry analyst and a principal at Media Valuation Partners. “These companies want efficiency. The closer those services work together, the better they work and the more efficient they are. More and more, you’re seeing things happening under a single umbrella.”

Read more: Kansas City Star

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