Consolidated Communications, which formerly operated as SureWest in Kansas, has announced that it will begin offering gigabit speed internet service to customers in Kansas City, including the parts of Mission, Roeland Park and Merriam where the company’s other services are currently available.
The company’s new gigabit speed package runs for $69.95 per month. There are no installation fees. Consolidated spokeswoman Anne Chacon said the company started accepting signups for the service this week, and that new customers can generally expect to schedule installation within five to seven days.
The product will compete with Google’s Fiber service, which is currently in development throughout the Kansas City area. The three northeast Johnson County “Fiberhoods” that Google opened for sign ups — Cedar Roe, Rainbow Boulevard and Shawnee Indian Mission — are listed as currently “under construction” on the Google Fiber website. No other Fiberhoods have been opened for sign up in the area, though every northeast Johnson County city, except for Leawood, currently has an active agreement with Google to bring the service to the area.
Google announced last month that it no longer planned to bring Fiber to Leawood. Documents obtained under an open records request revealed that a dispute over the cost of burying the fiber lines to comply with Leawood regulations led to the termination of negotiations between the parties. Leawood announced shortly thereafter that AT&T was planning on offering a gigabit speed product in the city, but that roll out may be impacted by AT&T’s decision to pause implementation of its gigabit product until the FCC susses out the future of net neutrality.
Chacon wouldn’t say whether Consolidated had plans to expand into other parts of northeast Johnson County, but said that “Typically, any area that we build into must have opportunities within two of our business segments (consumer, commercial carrier).”
SureWest had been in talks with Prairie Village officials in 2012 about the company expanding into the city, but decided against moving into the market.