Nathan Stubbs over at the Independent blog has a brief article announcing that LUS Fiber is now officially offering a 100 Mbps residential tier. That makes Lafayette one of the very few places in this country where homes can easily and relatively affordably buy a 100 Mbps of connectivity.
It’s not entirely clear why LUS has decided to offer this service at this time. Huval points to demand; apparently regular folks are asking for a speed that LUS thought only businesses would desire:
He adds LUS Fiber continues to be pleasantly surprised by the higher levels of service being sought by the average residential and commercial customers. “The level of service [being sold] is higher than we expected,” he says, “which is very positive.”
The utility was already offering a commercial tier at the 100 Mbps speed for $199.95 a month. Huval has long said that any resident that wanted to pay for the commercial version was free to order it up so it is a little unclear as to just what is new about this explicitly residential service offering. (The LUS Fiber residential internet page has not yet been updated to reflect this change.) Unlike the 10 and 50 Mbps residential offerings the new 100 Mbps residential tier it is not cheaper than the corresponding business ones. The other residential tiers are cheaper than their corresponding business tiers by 45-48%. Nor, according to Huval’s remarks in the comments is the monthly usage cap any different—in both the residential and the commercial versions of the 100 meg package is capped at 8 terabits. (Note: that’d be about 1 terabyte of hard disk storage.) The idea behind the higher prices for businesses is that they use much more bandwidth than households—and LUS pays for its connectivity by capacity.
Another possible reason to formalize a 100 Mbps tier right now is that Chattanooga’s still-building municipal fiber-optic utility recently announced a 1 Gbps option on its system. Chattanooga’s Gig is expensive for a regular consumer at $399 a month. In general, while Chattanooga has offered higher speeds, their pricing schedule has been more expensive than LUS’. That relationship no longer holds with LUS pricing its residential 100 Mbps package at the same cost as its commercial one—LUS’ price is 200 dollars a month while Chattanooga’s is a 14o…
It sounds a bit as if this new residential tier hasn’t been completely thought out. I’ll not be surprised if revisions that bring it more into align with other residential packages don’t appear.