AT&TAT&T G.fast service, announced today for multi-dwelling units (MDUs) in 22 metro areas, will provide broadband service over a combination of fiber and coax cable at speeds up to 500 Mbps, said an AT&T spokesperson in an email to Telecompetitor. The spokesperson also confirmed that none of the areas that will be getting service in the initial AT&T G.fast launch are within the carrier’s traditional local service footprint, but that the company is planning in-territory deployments, “primarily MDUs,” in 2017.

AT&T is moving into the territories of several other major carriers with its G.fast launch. In announced northeastern markets such as Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and others, Verizon is the incumbent. And in midwestern and western markets such as Minneapolis, Colorado Springs and Omaha, AT&T will be up against CenturyLink. AT&T also will be moving into some Frontier territory. Incumbent cable companies including Comcast, Charter and others will soon see new competition from AT&T in these markets.

AT&T G.fast 
The AT&T G.fast deployments will use “fiber runs to the telecom closet on the property, and individual coax runs to each apartment unit,” said the AT&T spokesperson.

Residents of properties served will also be able to obtain DIRECTV service without installing a dish at their individual units. Instead, the video service will be delivered over D2 Advantage, which the AT&T spokesperson described as “a centrally wired satellite dish that is shared among residents in the property.” (story continues below)

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Stand-alone pricing for the AT&T G.fast offering will be $40 for 50Mbps, $60 for 100 Mbps service and $80 for 500 Mbps, according to the spokesperson.

AT&T announced eight metro areas where G.fast can be deployed immediately, including Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle and Tampa. In 14 other markets, consumers in target MDUs can order service now for deployment in “the near future,” the company said.

AT&T is one of multiple carriers that are looking at G.fast as part of their broadband strategy. The technology can support considerably higher speeds than DSL or fiber-to-the-neighborhood (FTTN) services – and although bandwidth is lower than it might be for a fiber-to-the-home deployment, the cost is considerably less.

The news that AT&T is deploying G.fast is not surprising, as the company already has conducted a trial of the service in Minneapolis and executives have indicated deployment plans.  What is surprising is where the service is being launched initially.