Among telecommunications circles, "the Westminster model" is being used to describe the city's innovative public-private partnership for a citywide fiber network.
The model was on display Friday afternoon as officials and businesses gathered to see the network's speed demonstrated at a launch party at Intellitech Inc.
"This is an exciting day for the City of Westminster," Mayor Kevin Utz said.
Gigi Sohn, counselor to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said high-speed Internet access has become a necessity.
"What's happening today is a great example of communities and their leaders taking charge of their broadband futures," she said.
Utz said he hopes the eventual citywide network will entice businesses and residents alike to move to Westminster.
"We would like some of those government jobs to come to Westminster," he said.
Businesses near the Carroll County Regional Airport and residents of Carroll Lutheran Village and the neighborhood around Fairway Drive can sign up for gigabit broadband service — uploads and downloads at 1,000 megabits per second — and a member of the install team for Ting, the Toronto-based service provider, will call them in the next couple of weeks.
Ting will charge a $599 one-time installation fee then $139 per month to businesses, the same price points as Ting's service that launched in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month, according to Val Bortz, Ting's city manager for Westminster.
Residents will pay a one-time $399 installation fee then $89 per month for the gigabit service, Bortz said. For $19 per month, residents can select a plan for 5 megabits per second.
Jeff Cornejo, product manager for Tucows Inc., which owns Ting, demonstrated common tasks using the gigabit service, including downloading a 5-gigabyte operating system update — which took less than 2 minutes — and a 2-gigabyte data backup — which took less than one minute.
A high-definition movie is usually about 4 gigabytes and can take up to an hour to download using a standard download speed, according to Cornejo.
To sign up for service or to get updates as the fiber project expands, visit ting.com/westminster.
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