AT&T Expands Gigabit Service in Four Cities

by Karl Bode

AT&T today announced the company has expanded availability of its U-verse Gigapower-branded gigabit fiber service in four cities: Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, Atlanta and Kansas City. While AT&T’s overall fixed-line CAPEX has been dropping, the company continues to push fiber into housing developments, college campuses, and other areas where deployment costs are minimal. Speaking to investors during the first earnings call, AT&T CTO John Stephens said the company was on schedule to meet the commitments attached to the DirecTV acquisition.

“We’ll continue to expand our 100% fiber AT&T GigaPower network to additional locations,” AT&T says of the expansion. “We’re planning to triple availability by the end of 2016.”

As is traditionally AT&T’s practice, most of these deployments will be made available to high-end housing developments, and the company isn’t specifically stating just how many customers are actually able to get the service. Users in our forums are often frustrated to be told they’re in a launched market, only to realize AT&T’s fiber is deployed nowhere near their home.

AT&T recently stated that the company’s gigabit fiber service now reaches 1.6 million locations, though it’s unclear how many of those locations are fiber to the home connections that have existed for years. More than a million AT&T customers technically have had fiber to the home for years, though AT&T told me in 2007 those users were capped to DSL speeds for a more “consistent experience.” As such, how many new gigabit connections AT&T has deployed remains unclear.

Pricing for the service depends heavily on whether AT&T sees Google Fiber or municipal broadband competition in a launch market. If Google Fiber is present, AT&T’s Gigapower pricing usually starts at $70 a month (plus fees) for symmetrical gigabit service. That pricing will jump to $110 a month if Google Fiber isn’t around to generate additional competition.

Users can check for gigabit availability in their neck of the woods over at the AT&T U-Verse website.

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About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry’s first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

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