The lucky residents of Brigham have access to one of the nation’s fastest fiber optic broadband services. Better yet, the same provider offers digital video and digital telephone services. Not bad for a town of under 20,000 that got its first ISP in the mid-1990s. There are a few downsides to this provider, and the big one might just be the unimaginative name: Brigham.net. The next biggest downside is that this particular writer (And probably most readers) probably do not live in Brigham.net’s relatively modest service range.
Let’s Talk Turkey: How Fast is Brigham.Net?
Brigham.net offers four tiers of symmetrical fiber optic broadband services, starting at 10 Mbps, then jumping to 20 Mbps, 30 Mbps, and finally to a stunning 50 Mbps. Remember that this is symmetrical speed, which means that uploads and downloads are equally fast. Symmetrical speeds also mean that uploads do not unduly sacrifice download performance, unlike asymmetrical services. Of course, fiber optics have ways to severely mitigate such loss even in asymmetrical configurations. The bottom line is that even Brigham.net’s symmetrical 10 Mbps connecting might make a better choice for some users than a 15 Mbps downstream/3 Mbps upstream DSL account that loses noticeable amounts of downstream performance even when minor uploads are occurring.
An amazing 50 Mbps of speed means that movies and other large files download and/or start streaming almost immediately. YouTube’s HD videos stream almost instantly, even while one is uploading files to their website and/or handling online backups. The fact of the matter is that 50 Mbps is ridiculously fast.
When purchased individually, a 10 Mbps plan will cost $34.50 with a two year contract, while a 20 Mbps plan costs 49.50 per month. 30 Mbps plans cost $59.50 and the 50 Mbps plans cost $74.50 per month, which is actually a great bargain for the amazing broadband speed one gets.
The Digital Television Offerings
The biggest flaw in Brigham.net’s offerings would have to be those related to the television offerings. With only 65 channels on tap with the STANDARD VIDEO LINEUP (Yes, all caps), most other major digital cable service providers have a large advantage over Brigham.net. Of course, not too many of those top tier vendors would be jumping at the opportunity to serve what amounts to a small community, and few of the top-tier vendors even offer fiber optics in larger markets. The good news is that the broadband connections are so fast that anyone who knows how to find their media online will probably be doing so.
Of course, they could also opt for the SELECT channel lineup adds another 54 channels to the list, as well as many HD offerings. There are a smattering of HD offerings in the STANDARD VIDEO LINEU plan, but the best channels always come in the premium channel groups. On the subject of the premier channel lineup, the PREMIER package adds yet another 37 channels to the mix. The PREMIER channel lineup costs an additional $63.95 per month while the select plan costs an additional $24.95 on top of whatever service plan one chooses. The base TV plan starts at $34 with a two year contract, which might be a little on the pricey side considering the 65 channels one gets, but the set top box (STB) is included.
Additional STBs cost $6.95 to $8.95 per month, depending on whether one wants DVR functionality. An additional $2 per month will be required to upgrade the included STB to a DVR model, which changes the value equation slightly.
Digital Telephone Services
Digital telephone services use a technology called VoIP, and VoIP is quickly becoming the de facto standard. Starting at $29.50 per month (with a 2 year contract), the voice line includes free long distance within the U.S., caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding, and E-911 services. There is really not anything unique or special about the digital telephone services offered by Brigham.net that makes them noteworthy, but that is a good thing.
While the individual components of Brigham’s services all being reasonably priced, with the possible exception of the basic television plan, the triple play plans that Brigham.net offers are very reasonable. $90.50 nets one the basic digital television packs, the digital telephone service, and the 10 Mbps symmetrical broadband service, a package worth $98 if one were to purchase the components individually. A $1 per bill savings can be added to this by setting up an automatic payment method, and a $49 setup fee applies to all packages. For an additional $99, one can have a tech install a wireless router that comes with the package.
The best part of Brigham’s triple play package is that individual components can be upgraded, unlike many other vendors that require customers purchase packages or choose a la carte options. For example, upgrading to 20 Mbps can be done for another $15 per month, while the 30 Mbps plan can be part of a triple play package for another $25 per month. The same logic hold true for adding channel groups or the 50 Mbps package.