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Need for SPEED

Mediacom's newest internet service affects Creston

Earlier this month, Mediacom announced it was providing 1-gigabyte internet speeds across the state of Iowa, making Iowa the first state in the nation to make those broadband speeds available statewide.

The 1-Gig speeds are a result of a $1 billion investment by Mediacom to transform existing infrastructure with new innovations in broadband network technology.

Mediacom’s 5,124 miles of fiber optics powering Iowa’s broadband network across the state has made it possible to provide the 1-Gig internet to all 309 Iowa communities Mediacom serves.

More than 1 million Iowa homes will be able to take advantage of the 1-Gig internet speeds in a residential package.

“This affects residents in Creston,” City Administrator Mike Taylor said. “It could be a great asset for people who want to live in southwest Iowa and telecommute with employers in Omaha, Kansas City or anywhere across the globe.”

The 1-Gig internet service allows residential customers to take advantage of download speeds up to 1,000 megabytes per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 50 Mbps, while also including a data usage allowance of 6 terabytes.

For example, a 2-hour, high-definition movie at 3 gigabytes could download in 28 seconds with the 1-Gig internet speed compared to more than 1 hour with standard 7 Mbps DSL connection.

“The reason a family in Creston or Mount Ayr would want this internet is if they want to telecommute,” said Phyllis Peters, communications director for Mediacom. “I know several people in Audubon telecommute to companies that are in Omaha. When Mediacom introduced 100 megabit speed in 2010, that was a game changer for those people. That was 105 megabits speed. Now, we’re seven years further and 10 times faster in speed.”

Peters said a typical American household now has seven to 10 devices connected to the internet.

That means customers need more bandwidth and have more need for speed when it comes to their internet.

“We wanted to be ahead of that demand to be sure Iowans don’t have to wait,” Peters said. “If you have four people in the household all streaming movies, they want really good, smooth transmission, unbuffered. If more people are streaming things at the same time, you can’t do that with a 20-megabit or 50-megabit speed.”

The 1-Gig internet is not an entirely new concept, as it has been available to businesses and schools in Iowa for several years.

But with Mediacom wanting to be ahead of the curve in the residential sector, the company decided to make those internet speeds available to residential consumers.

Along with the 1-Gig internet speed now available to residential customers, Mediacom also added a 500-Mbps internet speed. Now, the company’s offerings are streamlined to 100 Mbps, 200 Mbps, 500 Mbps and 1-Gig.

Peters said it was important for Mediacom to make these internet speeds available to Iowans first.

“Iowa is a state where 1/3 of our customers and 1/3 of our employees live, and an even greater proportion of our company’s investment is made here,” Peters said. “It’s the kind of market our company was founded to serve.”

With the cable company’s infrastructure already in place, when the time comes that speeds need to be increased again, it will be a seamless transition for Mediacom.

“When it’s ready to be 2 gigs or 5 gigs, it can be faster without having to dig anything up, without having to go in and lay new lines,” Peters said. “It’s a very incredible technology that we’re very proud to have and showcase in Iowa. If your family is in Creston, it’s there and ready for when we are doing the next new thing.”

The 1-Gig internet service reaches Creston, Bedford, Mount Ayr, Kellerton, Corning, Greenfield and Osceola, among the 309 Iowa communities it reaches.

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