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The service will be available in the next 60 days

North Carolina residents are on the list for Google's Fiber deployment of super fast internet speeds, but gigabit speeds are coming sooner than previously thought -- and not via Google.

According to WRAL, North Carolina-based RST Fiber will beat Google to the punch in the Tar Heel state with the promise of gigabit internet speeds within the next 60 days. 

Aside from gigabit speeds, RST Fiber also promises a la carte TV services (rather than packages) and uncompressed video including 4K.

Privately held RST Fiber's network runs from the coast to the mountains, spanning about 3,100 miles. 

"The 5G network is here," said RST Fiber co-founder and CEO Dan Limerick. "This network will enable the Internet of Everything."

RST Fiber uses Cisco technology to operate its network, which is the creator of the term "Internet of Everything." It's defined as smart devices of all kinds (computers, phones, TVs, thermostats, etc.) having Internet connectivity and connecting people. 

To provide access to the high-speed service, RST will install Wi-Fi towers around Raleigh that have a 1.5 to 2 mile operating radius. Once within the operating range, users will simply type in a password to login and connect.  

RST Fiber will first roll out to Raleigh, with south Charlotte following over the next month. Asheville will receive service about the same time as Raleigh, and some ares of the Triangle outside of Raleigh also will be linked to RST Fiber (although it's not yet clear where). 

RST's internet service is expected to cost $99 a month, with TV and other services yet to be priced (RST is working with content providers at the moment). 

Currently, Google Fiber has data transfer speeds of 1 gigabit per second. It went live in Kansas City in 2012, starting off with 700Mbps downloads and 600Mbps uploads. 
In April of last year, it was reported that Google Fiber would expand to Utah and Texas. It plans to build its gigabit network in North Carolina in the future. 

Sources: WRAL, Triangle Business Journal

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By laviathan05 on 3/12/2014 3:00:01 PM , Rating: 3
I wish I had companies fighting for the opportunity to sell me a gigabit connection. That and non-bundled television? I'm jealous.

RE: Jealous
By Brandon Hill on 3/12/2014 3:06:46 PM , Rating: 2
I just want to see how Time Warner Cable and AT&T (DSL & U-Verse) will respond to this. Those are the only options we have in the Raleigh area for high-speed internet.

RE: Jealous
By mchentz on 3/12/2014 3:23:34 PM , Rating: 4
Time warner and AT&T will have to compete. Here's hoping anyway. The lobby in NC is very strong so it would not surprise me if they tried to lobby their way out of this instead of competing.

RE: Jealous
By AntiM on 3/12/2014 4:58:32 PM , Rating: 2
They (AT&T and TW) did manage to get municipal internet projects banned in NC, this is a private company, so they really can't do much about it. I'm sure they will try.

RE: Jealous
By sigmatau on 3/13/2014 12:20:50 AM , Rating: 2
I live near Raleigh. I was in Best Buy and a salesman (apparently from Time Warner Cable) came up to me and asked me what service provider did I have? I almost laughed in his face.

Who buys that crap anymore? They are still offering VoIP as though it costs anything? That was supposed free when it was first invented. It's so awesome we have such companies that turned it into some kind of incentive to buy their ultra expensive crap.

I had TWC internet. After they disconnected me 5 times in one year by accident (my neighbor was stealing cable), I spit on them from now on. I wouldn't buy anything from them if they had the cure for cancer.

RE: Jealous
By inperfectdarkness on 3/13/2014 4:41:56 AM , Rating: 2
I think I'd be happy if I could get a 50MB connection for $29.99/mo. I can't even get that, thanks to legal monopolies.

RE: Jealous
By JediJeb on 3/13/2014 4:49:46 PM , Rating: 2
Here I get charged almost that much for 1.5MB service from AT&T. I am 5 miles from the edge of town and that is all they offer, people just down the road from me get nothing.

My parents live literally 20 miles from any town and yet they get a minimum service of 2MB from the independent telco there, and can get even higher if they wanted it. Makes logical sense that a small three county telephone company can offer such great service to everyone out in the middle of nowhere while a tech giant like AT&T barely offers basic service even in towns of 20K people.

RE: Jealous
By freedom4556 on 3/14/2014 7:47:52 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, you're dreaming. In my area, such a connection, when available at all, costs $99/mo. I pay that amount for 12d/1.5u from a city-owned monopoly.

4k uncompressed video?
By HoosierEngineer5 on 3/12/2014 6:59:38 PM , Rating: 2
If I calculate correctly, 3840 x 2160 x 10 bits per color x 3 colors x 60 frames per second comes out to 14,929,920,000 bits per second. That's roughly 15 gigabits per second.

RE: 4k uncompressed video?
By StevoLincolnite on 3/13/2014 3:40:54 AM , Rating: 2
Video streams are usually around 24 frames per second (fps).
Thus making it roughly 6 Gigabits per second.
Blu-ray specifically uses 8bit per colour.

Thus... You're looking at something like 4.8 Gigabits per second for an un-compressed 4k stream.

If you used a *really* good encoder/decoder, that didn't impact on quality, you can get it much much lower than that.

RE: 4k uncompressed video?
By HoosierEngineer5 on 3/13/2014 9:55:33 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, can't figure out why the are distributing uncompressed video. Doesn't make sense to me.

landline or wireless
By Makaveli on 3/12/2014 7:49:46 PM , Rating: 2
The Wi-fi mention in this confuses me.

Are users going to access this system wirelessly from their homes?

If so what wifi protocol supports these speeds?

RE: landline or wireless
By Krotchrot on 3/12/2014 8:27:21 PM , Rating: 2
RE: landline or wireless
By StevoLincolnite on 3/13/2014 3:33:49 AM , Rating: 2
There is a similar technology used here in Australia known as "Wireless DSL".

So it would probably use the same principle.

Basically a company sets up a "WiMAX" tower which is then fed via a microwave back-haul dish (In this case Fiber) and is then sent to a receiver in the residents home, which is usually fixed to a roof or a wall and then using regular ole' Wifi or Ethernet cable is then connected to your router/modem so your devices can connect to it.

It's a fantastic way to get coverage to more consumers without having to burden a ton of costs related to digging/laying/stringing up cables.

The name however is mostly just marketing, hence why you shouldn't allow marketing departments to control technical aspects, thus it would just be "Fixed wireless" or something like WiMAX.

I'm surprised more rural areas in the USA don't have something similar, it's fairly common place in the lesser densely populated areas of Australia so people didn't have to put-up with 3G or Satellite or lord-forbid... IDSN/Dial-up/Dual-balanced IDSN/Dial-up.

By nafhan on 3/12/2014 5:20:04 PM , Rating: 3
It'll be interesting to see how fast this is in practice - especially for those closer to the 2 mile range limit. It'll also be interesting to see how this handles multiple devices.

Depending on how this works out, this could be an alternative to cell service for some people.

Hopefully this works out well. Anything that gets the incumbent telecoms to get moving is a good thing.

Gigabit over 2 miles wifi nodes?
By Milliamp on 3/12/2014 6:03:33 PM , Rating: 3
That's just not going to happen. Maybe gigabit "theoretical" but my guess once more than about 2 people are on it nobody is going to get anything even close to 1G speeds.

It's vaporware.

2 mile operating radius?
By HoosierEngineer5 on 3/12/2014 7:12:20 PM , Rating: 2
That's over 12 square miles. Asheville covers an area of 45 square miles, and has a population of 83,000 people, or about 22,000 over that 12 square miles. If 1/100th of them are watching their 15 Gbps 4k video, that tower needs to provide about 3.3 terabits per second of bandwidth.

I must be feeling skeptical today.

By rama_romania on 3/13/2014 12:00:17 PM , Rating: 2
I am wondering why this is a news , we have such service in Romania for months now (nation wide) even the country is the size of an US state but still...

We used to have 100 Mbps for last 10 years as standard

And not to forget the price for 500 Mbps uncapped is 15 USD and for 1Gig is less than 20 USD , an top of that you get unlimited mobile data through GSM network (you get free SIM that you can use in your device)

What i am trying to say is that the cost of such services is low and it can be offered to customer, it is just what T-Mobile is doing in US . Just inpired from the European market. Not wonders.

By jim davis on 4/9/2014 9:03:35 AM , Rating: 2
Well I would love to believe this is actually going to happen, I think a little healthy skepticism is due. Has anyone bothered to check on RST' s finances? In their own recent filing with the FCC, RST states that their biggest challenge since 2010 has been raising funding.
Building this kind of infrastructure is very expensive, and other similar efforts by small private companies have failed. A company called "Gigabit Squared" promised to buld a FTTH and gigabit wireless network (sound familiar?) to 70,000 homes in selected neighborhoods in Seattle last year, and they not only failed but left the city stuck with an unpaid bill of $52,000. I think a knowledgeable reporter should investigate RST's financial resources and stated technology claims very thoroughly before just jumping on their publicity bandwagon.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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