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Ting Internet lights up its first gigabit fiber customer

I wish we could tell you that the first Ting gigabit fiber Internet customer in the first Ting Internet town has torrented every disk image of every Linux distro in existence while simultaneously downloading the sum total of human knowledge and achieving enlightenment.

I wish we could tell you that.

“My neighbors told me that they were getting fiber optic Internet and I’ve been having trouble with my provider,” said Brian Calhoun, one of the people behind the renowned Rockbridge Guitar Company in Charlottesville, VA, and the first person to get gigabit fiber Internet with Ting.

That neighbor, as it turns out, is Jamie, whom we’d spoken to not two weeks prior.

Small world. Or at least, a relatively small town.

Getting connected

“All I said is ‘I want fiber optic like Jamie has.”

And he now has a gigabit connection. The fastest consumer Internet connection in Charlottesville.

“So far I’ve just used it for emails, really,” he said in our conversation the day after the installation, as a million geeks groaned in weird mixture of agony and envy.


“I wish I had some Internet insights for you,” he said, clearly feeling badly for me as the person trying to spin this particular yarn.

It serves as a reminder: We approach Ting Internet with the feeling that we’re changing the world one small step at a time. As we should; it’s important work and people have been poorly served—in every sense—for far too long. To many people, though, it’s just an Internet connection, not a movement. It needs to be fast, it needs to be reliable but it doesn’t need to be much beyond that.

Those are the basics and we need to nail them.

“It’s funny how quickly you get used to reasonable Internet,” Calhoun says. “When a web page spins for five seconds, you find yourself frustrated with your computer. That was happening over and over again with my old service provider and it was driving me crazy.”

Now connected, his new Ting Internet fiber connection wasn’t quite peaking out at the gigabit at first. Speed tests reported about 900 Mbps at the main termination point instead of the peak 1 Gbps. A slight signal degradation because of a sub-optimal glass splice would be my guess. I’m just saying that in a desperate attempt to sound like I know what I’m talking about, though.

Those missing 100 Mbps might have caused a femtosecond delay in Brian’s sending and receiving of the aforementioned emails. Not at all noticeable. Especially given that his house was, at that point, the only one wired for gigabit. Still, a problem to be solved.

The following morning on Slack, the tool we use to keep all our geographically dispersed team members close, there was much talk on The Case of the Missing Megabits. Turns out it wasn’t the thing I said. Of course. The problem, it seems, was something to do with too much light at the termination point. The problem was solved with a return visit, a light meter and an attenuator of some kind.

It’s always the attenuators.

Now, we put the finishing touches on our new Ting Internet fiber ordering site, which we expect to go live in the next few weeks. Once that’s up, and assuming you live in a Ting Internet town, you too can check your email (or download the sum total of human knowledge and achieve enlightenment, your call) on the fastest home Internet connection in existence.

Stay tuned!