Blink and you might miss it. On Tuesday, we published a post outlining two gigabit broadband network announcements had occurred, and it was only the second day of the week. Almost as we hit publish on our blog, another gigabit announcement from AT&T occurred, putting San Antonio in their Gigapower sights. Now you can add Charlotte, North Carolina to AT&T’s growing gigabit broadband announcements.
With so many of these announcements, it almost feels like a ‘land grab,’ particularly with AT&T. In a matter of months, AT&T is positioning itself as a major FTTH gigabit broadband provider, at least in the context of the number of press releases they have issued. Time will tell whether those press releases actually translate into large numbers of AT&T FTTH subscribers.
AT&T’s gigabit activity is clearly driven, at least in large part, by Google Fiber. Most of the markets where AT&T has announced Gigapower plans, including Austin, Texas; Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina; San Antonio, Texas; and Nashville, Tennessee, are all on Google’s short list for Google Fiber expansion. AT&T is trying to beat them to the punch and grab as much gigabit ‘land’ publicity as possible. By this measure, San Jose and Atlanta should be next, considering those are the only two AT&T incumbent markets on Google’s fiber expansion list that AT&T has not yet announced their own gigabit plans for.
The land grab is not only between AT&T and Google though. Other carriers, large and small are also making gigabit plans. GVTC, a small Texas based regional carrier is moving in on San Antonio suburbs with their GigaRegion gigabit service.
Comcast is even getting into the mix, with a limited FTTH deployment in Florida. Frontier will be bringing gigabit broadband to Portland, pre-empting Google there and promising more diverse broadband packages. Time Warner Cable is considering a Los Angeles gigabit network.
So the land grab is underway, at least from a public relations perspective. Lots of announcements, with much work to follow, if those announcements ring true with actual deployments. Stay tuned.