One interesting side note regarding the growing Gigabit movement is the lack of it in Verizon FiOS territories. It seems weekly (if not daily) now that we hear about some new Gigabit plan, but from what I can tell, very few, if any have touched existing Verizon FiOS markets.
Google, with its announced Google Fiber expansion plans noticeably avoided any potential Verizon FiOS markets. They seem to enjoy competing with AT&T though. Comcast surprised the industry with their Gigabit FTTH plans, but they too have avoided FiOS markets, at least initially. Chicago is the latest announced market for Comcast Gigabit and Comcast also intends to take on EPB, the pioneer in Gigabit Internet, in Chattanooga, Tenn.
At the recent Broadband Communities Summit, I spoke with a city planner from Alexandria, Va. He revealed that Alexandria aggressively courted Google to bring Google Fiber to their city, with no success. Alexandria is an interesting case. It’s a very affluent suburb of Washington D.C. It’s a short kayak ride away from FCC headquarters in D.C.
Yet Verizon has chosen not to bring FiOS there, even though they offer it in many other areas of metro Washington D.C. Google decided not to entertain Alexandria’s invitation either. I find that interesting. Given its proximity to D.C. and federal regulators and politicians galore, it would seem Alexandria could have been a great Gigabit case study for Google, with potentially tremendous policy and PR benefits.
FiOS Gigabit Competition?
There are many Gigabit announcements coming out of the new cable show, INTX, taking place this week in Chicago. It appears Cox may be the first company to take on Verizon FiOS markets with a Gigabit play. They announced they’re bringing their G1GBLAST service to several new markets this summer, including some Virginia markets, where they may compete with Verizon FiOS.
Comcast says they will roll out Gigabit service across their entire footprint, using both DOCSIS 3.1 and FTTH. They haven’t revealed a roadmap for their Gigabit launches, but they currently compete in many markets with Verizon FiOS, meaning if you take them at their word, they will soon take on FiOS.
Verizon FiOS has enjoyed a respite from Gigabit competition, but it looks like that may soon change. Will this slow, but growing competitive threat force Verizon to finally embrace Gigabit service for FiOS?