GoNetspeed began installing its state-of-the-art fiber optic network in the West Hartford area late this spring, and in the next 18 months plans to build out more than 200 additional miles of cable in the state.
By Ronni Newton
There are many things that West Hartford residents disagree on, but if you enter a room and start a conversation about the high cost of cable and internet service, you’ll probably won’t hear much dissension.
It’s great to be connected, and to be able to electronically control all aspects of our daily life, to watch what we want to watch on our TV when we want to watch it – but all of that comes at a price, and without many options from which to choose. The existing suppliers often bundle their services, making each portion less expensive than when purchased separately, but customers often feel they are forced to pay for channels they don’t use in order to get the few they do want, or hang on to a landline phone that receives mostly robocalls (or the occasional call from an elderly relative) because keeping the phone actually makes their internet service less expensive.
Cord cutting has become trendy, but it can also be scary to many consumers, and although there may be many options for streaming programs, movies, and events, there hasn’t been much competition for the internet service on which everyone must rely.
Enter GoNetspeed, a Rochester, NY-based fiber optic internet provider founded in 2017, which has recently entered the Connecticut market and since the spring has quietly been wiring parts of West Hartford and the West End of Hartford, as well as Bridgeport and New Haven. And although the company itself is still in its infancy, its leaders have decades of experience in the industry.
Founder Frank Chiaino comes from Fibertech Networks, which he founded in the 1990s, and GoNetspeed COO Tom Perrone was with Fibertech for 10 years, most recently as vice president of Network Engineering. GoNetspeed President and CEO Larry Coleman was most recently the president and founder of metro fiber and high bandwith provider Sunesys.
GoNetspeed, which offers lifetime guaranteed pricing, a choice of internet speeds, and a commitment to customer service, already has thousands of customers in the Pittsburgh area and now wants to expand its footprint in this area.
“We want to create more awareness, get more signed up, and the quicker that happens the more money we’ll put into it,” Perrone told We-Ha.com in a recent interview.
Clifton said that in the next 16-18 months, the company would like to wire another 200-plus miles of the state with their fiber optic cable.
GoNetspeeed started their network build-out in the late spring, but have only been marketing the service for about two months because they wanted to have the network available immediately for anyone who was interested.
An area of West Hartford bordered to the north by Albany Avenue, to the south by Kane Street, to the west by Trout Brook Drive, and to the east by Prospect Avenue is nearly 100 percent wired. To see the map below in interactive form, and to see if your street is included, click here for the BroadbandNow.com website.
Within the red-shaded area in West Hartford and the West End of Hartford, there are about 7,000 homes that can obtain GoNetspeed’s internet service right now by visiting their website. Those who fall outside the boundaries should still visit the site, Clifton said.
“Give us your email and your physical address even is you’re not in our service area today, so we can make smart decisions,” Clifton said. The company will use that information to strategically decide where to expand their network for residential and small business customers.
What differentiates GoNetspeed?
The first thing is their pricing, which is simple and guaranteed for life, and that includes for customers who move within the service area. Plans are $50 per month for 100 Mbps (megabits per second) upload and download speeds, $70 per month for 500 Mbps, and $100 per month for 1,000 Mbps – roughly equivalent to “1-gigabit” service. “It’s what Google Fiber offers – without being Google,” Clifton said.
In addition, support is available 24/7, no contracts are required, and there are no hidden fees or taxes added to that number. “Any taxes due, we pay,” said Coleman.
GoNetspeed is a “deep fiber” provider, Coleman said, with dedicated glass that runs right to each home. Other providers might use fiber optics for a portion of their network, but it could be shared by as many as 2,000 homes, and the wiring to the house could be copper.
“We are really excited about our reviews, and we work hard to keep that,” Perrone said. The speed that a customer purchases is what they get all the time, it’s not shared, and it doesn’t slow down at peak use times. “Some folks say it’s too good to be true,” he said.
“We take the time to listen to our customers,” added Clifton. The reactions from those in West Hartford who have already signed up for the service have been very favorable, he said.
“There’s no catch,” Clifton said. “We know the business and we want to serve the customer the way we want to be served.”
Clifton said that GoNetspeed is invested in the community, and using local contractors to build out the network. Those same local contractors are the ones who are called if a tree falls and takes out the service. There’s a local operations manager, Ken Lane, and Director of Sales Brian Quinn, who formerly worked with Frontier, is also local.
“The future of your home is the internet,” Clifton said. GoNetspeed doesn’t offer cable television, or phone service, but on their website they do offer resources to help those who are looking to cut the cord.
People get used to their everyday routine, Perrone said. He said their biggest challenge is getting people over that hump, but the internet is really what everyone needs.
“We’re hoping the community will embrace a competitor,” Perrone said, and one with up-to-date technology.
Coleman urged anyone interested to go to www.gonetspeed.com, and at least indicate their interest. The company is “truly hyperlocal,” he said, and will build their network where they are wanted.
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