RCN Tees Up 1-Gig DOCSIS 3.1 Service in Chicago

Taking a page from the Google Fiber playbook on pricing, RCN said it will “soon” launch a 1 Gbps (downstream) service in parts of Chicago for $69.99 per month for 12 months.

The service, which will use DOCSIS 3.1 technology, will initially be offered to RCN customers in Skokie and Lincolnwood. RCN has also set up a web site (opens in new tab) where interested customers can be alerted on when the service will become available to them.

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RCN’s introductory pricing for 1-Gig comes in just below the promotional price of $70 per month (with unlimited data) Comcast is using for its DOCSIS 3.1 gigabit consumer trial in Chicago for customers who agree to a three-year contract. The contract-free price is $139.00 per month. AT&T’s symmetrical 1-Gig offering in parts of  Chicago is being sold for $90 as a standalone, with a 12-month agreement and unlimited data.

RCN said its gigabit service in Chicago will have no contracts and caps. Multichannel News has asked RCN what the pricing will be after the initial 12 month period, and to detail the upstream speed customers are getting with the new D3.1 service, and will update the story when the info becomes available.

Update: RCN is pairing its 1-Gig downstream with an upstream that maxes out at 20 Mbps. It has not announced pricing following the initial 12-month period, but noted that customers will be notified of the change in the rate, which will remain "competitive" and also be based on how customers are bundling broadband with other RCN services. 

Comcast’s 1-Gig downstream D3.1 offering is currently paired with an upstream that maxes out at 35 Mbps.

RCN has not announced when it plans to extend D3.1 service to its other markets, which include Boston, Lehigh Valley (Pa.), New York City, Philadelphia (Delaware County) and Washington, DC.

“The capacity provided by 1 Gigabit is massive, and it more than keeps up with the explosive growth of internet usage,” said Chris Fenger, COO of RCN. “Year-over-year internet usage is increasing 35-50 percent and the average home now has 7.8 internet-connected devices, which represents an increase of 64 million devices over the past year alone. This continued trend confirms that DOCSIS 3.1 is a critical technology for the future, enabling not only Gigabit internet speeds, but also future enhancements such as IP video and other advanced services. RCN remains committed to staying at the forefront of innovation to offer customers the fastest speeds, increased reliability and the best customer experience.”