Archive for Friday, July 27, 2012

Parts of Lawrence already have super-fast Internet

July 27, 2012


In case you are wondering, Lawrence, that big Internet giant in the rear view mirror is Google.

While Google was making news in Kansas City on Thursday by announcing its plans for rolling out super-fast Internet in the metro area, a local broadband provider was pointing out those speeds already exist in some parts of Lawrence.

“We have beat them to the punch so far,” said Joshua Montgomery, co-owner of the newly named Wicked Broadband, which previously operated as Lawrence Freenet and Community Wireless Corp.

Montgomery said his company recently began offering 1 gigabit service — which is 100 times faster than the standard Internet speeds found in most homes — to five Lawrence fraternity and sorority houses and has plans to add at least two new apartment complexes by Sept. 1.

On Thursday, Google held a press conference in Kansas City announcing its pricing plan and rollout strategy for 1 gigabit service in Kansas City. Google wasn’t clear on when service may begin in Kansas City.

Montgomery said Wicked likely won’t be able to offer 1 gigabit service to the entire Lawrence community anytime soon, but it now looks like Google won’t be offering it to the entire Kansas City market either. Google officials said Thursday that they will only roll out the superfast service to neighborhoods that have large numbers of residents pre-register for the service.

Eventually, Montgomery said that is a model his company also would like to use to extend the service in Lawrence residential areas. But now Wicked is focusing on serving high density areas like apartment complexes and fraternity and sorority houses.

When a fiber project is completed along 23rd Street next month, Montgomery said that will allow his company to extend the high-speed Internet to 13 additional apartment complexes, if the owners agree to purchase the service for the entire complex. Plans don’t call for individual apartment tenants to sign up for the service. Instead, Wicked is trying to sell the service to entire complexes at a rate of $11 per month per living unit.

Businesses along major routes in Lawrence — including parts of Clinton Parkway Iowa, 23rd and Sixth streets — also can sign up for the service, but at significantly higher rates than those offered for the apartment complexes.

Wicked has been able to undertake the high-speed Internet project in part because of several deals it has struck to use city infrastructure at below-market rates. For example, the fiber the company is installing along 23rd Street is being placed in conduit owned by the city and used to connect the city’s traffic signals.

Other Internet providers in Lawrence had objected to the deal, but city commissioners approved the agreement, saying they thought the high speed service could be a magnet for innovation in Lawrence.

The latest twist in the dealing with the company is its new name. Montgomery said the company dissolved the not-for-profit Lawrence Freenet organization last month. All future marketing will be done under the Wicked Broadband name, which is owned by Community Wireless Corp., a for-profit corporation that holds many of the agreements with the city.

Those agreements with the city have stipulated that Community Wireless must make a good faith effort to provide free or reduced rate Internet service for Lawrence’s low income population. Montgomery said Wicked currently has about 10 percent of its subscriber base on free service.


Lori Nation 1 year, 8 months ago

We have Freenet and it sucks. Always kicking us off and very slow. But I am sure those people living in Edgewood and living on welfare get great service Thanks to those of us who actually have to pay for their crappy service.


a34123h9038419 1 year, 8 months ago

One of the major problems with Lawrence -- as far as network connectivity goes -- is that there is a fiber shortage on 2 fronts. First, and obviously the big one, is the lack of commodity "dark" fiber infrastructure. This is the real championing success of the Google Fiber project. They are hanging commodity fiber, for public commercialization all over KCK. Sure Knology owns a lot of fiber in town, but it's mostly for their own use (aka as the transport to push their CATV signal out to neighborhood pedestals, which then becomes Coaxial copper for the last mile). If I were a business owner and wanted a dark fiber connection handed off to me, the chances of this happening are very slim.

Second, there is a major shortage of long-haul fiber leaving/uplinking Lawrence, and (as far as anyone in my telecom circle knows or has heard of) there is only one exit point. Some big trunk lines pass down the I-70 corridor between Topeka and KC but they mostly just pass on by unspliced. As far as I've heard, there are not any vendors out there laying new long-haul fiber between Lawrence and KC or Lawrence and Topeka.

So even if Google did come in and blast new fiber infrastructure all over our city, there isn't enough bandwidth linking us up to the major exchanges in KC and Topeka to deliver on their promise. Hence one of the reasons I'm sure they chose KCK -- it's proximity to the carrier hotels in KCMO.


FlintlockRifle 1 year, 8 months ago

""Don't trust him as far as I can throw him "" Love that comment -----------------lets write in his name for up coming election.


ljwhirled 1 year, 8 months ago

Freenet has consistently under promised and over delivered. I currently pay for "Up to 10Mbps", here is my Speedtest.

I only pay for 10Mbps

I only pay for 10Mbps by ljwhirled


Carol Bowen 1 year, 8 months ago

How is Internet security on Lawrence Freenet? Are you using firewalls on your PC's?


lawrencenerd 1 year, 8 months ago

Anything freenet is going to be horrible. I'll wait for Google. They will deliver what they claim they will, they'll provide support, and they aren't trying to scam people. Those are all things that cannot be said about Freenet, or, as they've rebranded themselves because Freenet is synonymous with sucking, Wicked Broadband.


jgmoney24 1 year, 8 months ago

Owners of the apartment complexes in town are having a tough enough time leasing all of their apartments – how many are going to invest money with a company to provide this unproven internet service to ALL of their apartments, even the vacant ones?

Furthermore, these customers aren’t getting a Gigabit connection – they getting a wireless service that’s being delivered from a Gigabit pipe. The service is only as good as the wireless signal allows.

Finally, if I’m a student subscribing to this service and I have a service outage while studying for finals at 11 o’clock in the evening, who do I call for support? To my knowledge there is little to zero support provided to the subscribers of this product, especially during hours that are critical to students. At least with the competition (AT&T, Sunflower/Knology/WOW) I can call and yell at someone…


IgnorantYokel 1 year, 8 months ago

I dropped Knology Palladium internet in favor of Lawrence Freenet a week ago and I'm happy to report it's been a success so far. I'll be paying closer to $38/mo instead of $60 and there's no discernable difference in internet speed. In fact, most times I've run speedtest, the results have shown Freenet to be superior. (I've posted the most recent Speedtest I ran using my Android phone.) I've seen absolutely no lapses/pauses in my Netflix and Hulu Plus streaming service on my TV.

I must say, it felt good to tell that woman in Atlanta that I wanted to cancel my Knology service. You wanna charge me $10 extra to have internet w/o cable?! Good riddance.


littlexav 1 year, 8 months ago

Nice to see this "article" is 80% copy+pasted from the one a couple weeks ago. Since when did LJW become a personal ad space for Wicked Broadband? And isn't there a difference between "offering" service and "providing" it? The answer is yes: so let's hear it, does Wicked Broadband actually provide gigabit service to any customers? Are they really taking in $11/person/month as another comment suggests? That could easily top $1,000/mo. and when you have that many people online, the "gigabit" service gets divided up among all of them.

This isn't a "service" to the community - it's a marketing ploy, a scam, a get-rich quick scheme, and it seems LJW is in on it.


Insidestraight 1 year, 8 months ago

This guy gets below-market-cost access to city infrastructure for his high-speed cable and so far it's five Greek houses, with immediate plans calling for some selected apartment complexes? Huh? We approved this? And by the way ... if his high-speed cable service currently serves five Greek houses up on the hill and nobody else, that hardly qualifies as "Parts of Lawrence already have superfast Internet".


a34123h9038419 1 year, 8 months ago

I don't trust that guy as far as I could throw him. He is a super-shady businessman.


Dovienya5 1 year, 8 months ago

There is a difference between selling me (just me, singular, uno) Gigabit internet at $70, and selling 200-400 people, one (singular, uno) Gigabit connection at $11 a month per person. So no, he's not beating anybody to the punch.


OonlyBonly 1 year, 8 months ago

Ha! Is this the same Lawrence Freenet that doesn't provide support for daily customers even though the problem is attributable to their equipment?


grammaddy 1 year, 8 months ago

I knew it wasn't through Sunflower/Knology/Wow.


observant 1 year, 8 months ago

City needs to demand that Montgomery document and prove his claim of free subscribers, most of his claims are usually lies. The city needs to take another look at how he lied to get free right of way usage and charge him the same fees as other utilities have to pay.


pace 1 year, 8 months ago

this could help many businesses in town. Good for Montgomery and the city.


Steve Jacob 1 year, 8 months ago

All high speed internet will do is for college kids to download movies, games, and porn faster,


Lawrence Morgan 1 year, 8 months ago

Joshua Montgomery is going in the right direction.

But apartment houses aren't the way to go. He needs to offer it to the whole town. That could change many ways of doing business in the town - it would be stupendous!


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