Google Fiber has certainly raised awareness — and interest in — gigabit internet access, and several companies beyond the search provider are working on spreading the high-speed networks across the US. Vermont Telephone Co. (known as VTel) is one of those: it's now offering a gigabit internet service for $35. The telephone company has been working on building out a fiber network direct to its customers' homes since 2010, when it won a $81 million grant from the USDA as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. (The USDA has awarded funds to other broadband initiatives around the country as well as part of the act.) VTel plans to replace all of its current customers' DSL connections with fiber service by the end of the year for no extra cost — hence the $35-per-month price tag.
The company serves 17,500 Vermont homes, according to The Wall Street Journal, and 600 have signed up so far. VTel's grant from the USDA is also being used to build out an LTE network to serve parts of the state that aren't wired — it expects to have that ready by the end of the year as well. FCC chairman Julius Genachoski has called for gigabit service in every state by the end of 2015, and other than Google's plans for Kansas City, Austin, and Utah, other companies have plans to bring gigabit service to cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and more.