Just before Christmas, US Internet announced that Minneapolis now has access to the fastest household internet connection in the world. Or at least in certain neighborhoods.
The new 10 gigabyte fiber optic connection is roughly 400 times faster than the typical high-speed connection in the Twin Cities. But at $400 a month, it doesn't come cheap. See also: The Fall of Net Neutrality: Cable's Plot to Destroy the Internet
Since the announcement on Dec. 23, co-owner Joe Caldwell says two people have signed up for the service.
"I have no idea what these two guys are going to do with it. I know they're both IT guys, and they might be doing some sort of peer-to-peer file-sharing."
Caldwell says the fact that he doesn't know is exciting.
"It's unlimited bandwidth and unlimited possibilities. Now what do you do with it? ... Humans have always found a way to use every drop of internet that we've ever gotten. Now this is the first time in our lives that the internet is actually faster than the application we're running, and it will be interesting to see what people come up with."
At the moment, the fiber optic connection is only available in Uptown east of the Chain of Lakes and near 50th and France. You can check to see if you're eligible on US Internet's website.
Caldwell plans to have all of Minneapolis covered "within the next few years" and hopes to cover the entire metro area in "five or six years" if everything goes smoothly, which is a big "if."
"Fiber optic is not cheap. That's why it's not being done by everybody... There can be political hurdles too. We're in Minneapolis right now because they want our internet and welcomed us, and we hope other cities do too."
Eventually, US Internet aims to make a play on Comcast's cable TV stronghold. Fiber optic cable is better suited for the new 4K TVs hitting the market. Considering Comcast's less than pleasant customer service history, he's seeing a competitive advantage.
"We don't have seven corporate jets," he says of Comcast and CenturyLink. "We don't have an NFL football stadium named after us and our CEO didn't make $30 million last year... These guys are 900-pound gorillas beating on each other every day. And while they do that, we're just going to go along and offer the fastest, cheapest internet on planet Earth."
Send news tips to Ben Johnson.