See update at end of post added later on July 29.
We’ve seen two gigabit announcements already this week and it’s only Tuesday.
AT&T said it will bring its gigabit broadband service, dubbed GigaPower, to the City of Nashville. And cable operator Comporium, which announced gigabit plans for Rock Hill, S.C. earlier this year, said it soon will offer service, dubbed Zipstream, to 125 neighborhoods in two counties.
AT&T Gigabit Nashville Plans
AT&T’s Nashville announcement comes on the heels of several recent gigabit wins in North Carolina and an announcement last week that the company would expand gigabit service in Dallas and Fort Worth.
Both Fort Worth and Nashville were on a list of 100 cities that AT&T in April said it was considering for gigabit networks.
Although AT&T offered specific construction targets in last week’s Dallas/ Fort Worth announcement, the Nashville announcement simply said that the company would announce availability and pricing at a later date.
AT&T first took the gigabit plunge last year when it said it was “prepared” to deploy gigabit service in Austin, Texas. The announcement came the same day that Google announced its own gigabit plans for Austin, where AT&T is the incumbent local telco.
Google has paved the way in gaining a higher level of cooperation from local municipalities regarding construction permits and the like – and companies like AT&T increasingly are looking to build their own networks under the same terms.
This development, coupled with the fact that companies that have deployed gigabit services are satisfied with the economics, has driven the current boom.
Comporium Gigabit Expands
Comporium previously announced Zipstream for business customers in June and, according to today’s announcement, will expand the service to residential customers in the 125 neighborhoods beginning in September. The targeted neighborhoods already have fiber-to-the-premises infrastructure, according to today’s announcement, and as Telecompetitor has previously reported, it’s relatively easy for companies that already have deployed that type of infrastructure to upgrade to gigabit service.
“Neighborhoods will be activated based on their ‘ring,’ which must support 10 gigabits per second transport and have the appropriate type of electronics,” said Comporium Executive Vice President of Customer Operations and External Affairs Matthew Dosch in yesterday’s announcement.
Cable companies initially lagged behind telcos in deploying gigabit service. This occurred, in part because cableco DOCSIS 3.0 technology can deliver speeds in the range of 300 Mbps or more over existing fiber-coax plant – and such speeds are more than enough for many customers. Additionally some cable companies may have been waiting for the next generation of DOCSIS technology, which will support gigabit speeds.
With equipment supporting the new standard expected next year, several companies – including Cox and Bright House – have recently announced gigabit plans. Additionally Time Warner Cable has proposed a gigabit network for Los Angeles.
UPDATE: Make that three gigabit announcements so far this week. No sooner had we published this post than AT&T said it also will bring gigabit service to San Antonio. A specific time frame was not disclosed.