A gigabit is now $60 in the Mojave desert town of Boron

19 August 2015 by Steve Blum
, , , , ,

A gig is a lot faster than 20 mules.

One of the fastest and cheapest ways to get gigabit service to your home is to move to Boron, California. Race Telecommunications finished building out fiber-to-the-home infrastructure there last month, and is selling a gig of Internet access for $60 per month, and unlimited voice service for $10 a month.

The community’s response was quick and enthusiastic. So far, about a third of the 900 homes and businesses in town have ordered service, with about 200 already connected and crews working to hook up the rest at the rate of about 30 per week. Until Race started taking orders, residents either had to buy stingier and more expensive satellite Internet service or try to make do with sketchy mobile coverage. No wireline option was available.

The Boron project is the smallest of three successful FTTH grant proposals that Race submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission in 2013. The two others – in four small Mono County communities and in the Tehachapi Pass area – are still in progress. The next town to be lit up with the same deal will likely be Chalfant in Mono County. That’s expected to happen before the end of the year. Demand there seems to be equally heavy, with about 40% of the 300 or so homeowners telling Race they want service.

Counting the Gigafy Backus project, which was approved by the CPUC last week, and an earlier project at the Mojave Air and Space Port, Race has received $23.4 million in subsidies from the California Advanced Services Fund. Four more projects, totalling $69.4 million, are still under consideration.