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. Continue reading

Progress Edition: Laying the groundwork: MPW installs fiber for faster Internet

Melissa Caliger

MUSCATINE, Iowa — Imagine Internet speeds capable of downloading 12 TV shows, 900 songs and one High Definition movie in 36 seconds.

Muscatine Power and Water officials say it is possible and they have a plan to make surfing the web a better experience by increasing Internet speeds and a switch from coaxial cable wiring to lightning-fast fiber-optic cable by the end of 2017.

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Washington Law Would Let Counties Sell Broadband Service When Comcast Won’t



Last year, we told you about Seth, who had recently relocated to Washington only to find out he might have to sell his new house because Comcast had lied to him about being able to provide the Internet connection he needs for his home office. And even though the county runs a high-speed fiber network not far from his property, current state law restricts consumers from buying access to that service. Recently proposed state legislation hopes to right that wrong and give counties the ability to serve residents when Comcast and others refuse to.

Current Washington state law allows for municipalities to own and operate broadband networks, but they can only sell wholesale access, meaning that customers must purchase so-called “last mile” service through a third party, even if it’s only a few yards from the existing fiber line to the house being connected. Continue reading

19% of US Homes May No Longer Have Broadband

English: A wireless internet router, part of M...

English: A wireless internet router, part of Minneapolis, Minnesota’s broadband wireless internet network run by U.S. Internet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Broadband” is another term that historically had a specific definition in the telecom industry but now politicians have co-opted it and made the definition squishy. Before the Internet was a commercial service, the industry referred to signals as being narrowband, wideband, and broadband. Broadband was defined as any signal being greater than 1.544 Mbit/s or a DS1/T1 rate. Now broadband has evolved from an adjective to a noun with a different meaning depending on how the FCC defines it. I guess I should think of it as further evolution of the English language.

All across America, people could be waking up to their last day with broadband internet access. Oh, the speed of the bits in their pipes isn’t changing, but what we call it might be. The FCC is set to vote on whether or not internet access should only be called broadband if it’s 25Mbps or higher downstream. The current standard is a measly 4Mbps, which ISPs are just fine with. Continue reading

VDSL additions to quadruple by 2014

The number of new subscribers to VDSL-based broadband services will almost quadruple by 2014 as more competitors start to ramp up their support for the technology, according to reports from IHS iSuppli.

The number of new annual VDSL subscriber additions worldwide are expected to grow to 60.1mn in 2014, up from just 15.6mn in 2009.  A total of 23.3mn new VDSL subscribers were added in 2010, according to the report.

“The telco broadband market is undergoing a seismic shift,” said Lee Ratliff, senior analyst for broadband and digital home at IHS.  “Newer technologies such as VDSL and Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) have begun to emerge, while interest is waning within the industry for traditional broadband technologies like cable and asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL).”

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Netflix and Akamai Reports Show Sustained Broadband Speeds Falter in U.S.

Image representing Netflix as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Nate Hakken, Reporter,

WASHINGTON, February 7, 2011 – Online content providers Netflix and Akamai released data recently indicating that U.S. internet service providers meet expectations for promised peak broadband speeds, but fall short when it comes to sustained speeds.

Netflix, which offers streaming video on-demand, released data and charts last month through its blog.  The company evaluated sustained downloads as part of its high definition streaming service specific to Internet Service Providers (ISP)s.

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SoftBank CEO Urges an End to Copper

Masayoshi Son
Image by Danny Choo via Flickr

Japanese media giant has a bold if somewhat self-serving plan to cover the country in optical fiber

By John Boyd  /  November 2010

Japan has long been regarded as a leader when it comes to providing broadband connectivity and deploying “fiber to the home” (FTTH). Yet entrepreneur Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of telecom and media company SoftBank Corp., is critical of the way broadband technology is being implemented and has urged the government to back his ideas for radical change.

As is the case in most developed countries, the Japanese industry is employing broadband in two ways: over existing copper phone lines using digital subscriber line (DSL) technology, which provides theoretical maximum download speeds of around 50 megabits per second, and over newly laid optical fiber cable with the claim of delivering data at up to 200 Mb/s. Even though SoftBank has the largest number of DSL subscribers—a 38 percent market share—Son says this two-tier deployment strategy is costly and inefficient and is causing Japan to lose its competitive edge.

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