Omaha metro area will have another new option for high-speed internet service

Omaha metro area will have another new option for high-speed internet service

Another fiber-based internet provider announced plans Thursday to serve homeowners in the Omaha metro area.

Great Plains Communications announced expansion into Gretna, Papillion, La Vista and Ralston.

The announcement promises up to 2-gigabit symmetrical fiber internet service for homes. The company already provides service to some businesses and apartment complexes in those areas, Great Plains Chief Executive Officer Todd Foje said.

In all, the company said it plans to expand its service to 16 urban and rural Nebraska communities: Kearney as well as Arnold, Bancroft, Crofton, Grant, Hayes Center, Hay Springs, Imperial, Wausa, Wisner, Wood Lake and Wynot.

Great Plains already has begun construction in some of those communities and expects to have construction under way in all by late fall. The company will use its existing fiber lines as well as new buried and aerial lines to enhance their network, Foje said.

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Headquartered in Blair, Nebraska, Great Plains Communications is one of the largest privately owned digital infrastructure providers in the Midwest. The company says it owns a fiber network more than 18,000 miles long and reaching 13 states.

According to Great Plains, customers with 2-gigabit symmetrical fiber internet service will enjoy “highly reliable access to Cloud services, streaming video, gaming, working and learning from home and much more.” A gigabit is 1,000 megabits.

Symmetrical fiber means equally fast download and upload speeds. Download speeds involve retrieving information from the internet, including streaming movies and TV. Upload speeds determine how fast information travels from a computer to the internet, like sending emails or publishing photos online.

Foje said prices will be “very competitive.”

For businesses, Great Plains can offer symmetrical internet speeds up to 100 gigabit, he said.

Other internet companies also are finding the Omaha metro area an attractive place to expand their service.

Allo Fiber is coming into La Vista, Papillion and Gretna, Fastwyre to Bellevue and Google Fiber to Omaha. Work crews can be regularly seen along area streets and roads burying fiber-carrying conduit unloaded from giant spools.

Cox, as well as Fastwyre, ALLO, Google Fiber and Verizon, all say they can deliver 1-gigabit-per-second downloads — and some even faster than that.

In June, Cox announced it had updated its broadband packages to provide faster speeds, at no extra cost, to the majority of its customers. They said their five speed tiers ranged from 100 Mbps to 2 Gbps.

Foje said Great Plains’ network expansion would serve the needs of homes and businesses “both today and in the future.”

“Fiber drives economic development and growth opportunity, and we are honored to be providing the high-performing network and services that will help fuel progress for these growing areas of Nebraska,” he said.

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