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News tagged: Fiber


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by Karl Bode 06:30PM Tuesday Oct 28 2014
After mocking other 1 Gbps deployments as "hype" that "confuses customers," Frontier Communications last week quietly started offering 1 Gbps service under the FiberHome brand to a few development communities in Durham. According to Frontier, the 1 Gbps service will run users $220 a month. This week, Frontier has announced that they're also now offering the 1 Gbps service to "select neighborhoods" of Beaverton, Oregon.

As with so many "fiber to the press release" announcements, Frontier fails to offer any specifics whatsoever as to the total number of subscribers able to get the service -- again because they want to make a highly-selective development deployment appear larger than it is. But to hear Frontier tell it, they're "delivering on a promise" to provide 1 Gbps speeds:
quote:
This past July, Frontier Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Maggie Wilderotter visited Portland and discussed the company's plans to provide Gigabit speeds in the near future. She stated at the time, "Frontier will offer gigabit packages within the next several quarters, as services emerge that justify such speeds." Now, just three months later, Frontier is delivering on its CEO's promise. "Google is exploring Gigabit speeds in the Portland-area market, but Frontier is delivering," Wilderotter said.
Of course Wilderotter and Frontier's public relations folks would have you forget that the CEO called 1 Gbps speeds empty "hype" just three or four months ago, or that the vast, vast majority of Frontier's customers will probably be stuck on 3-6 Mbps speeds for the majority of the next decade.

30 comments


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by Karl Bode 02:06PM Friday Oct 24 2014
Last year, Frontier Communications CEO Maggie Wilderotter stated that people don't really need 1 Gbps, and that the 3 to 6 Mbps most of her customers can get was just fine for most people. Last summer, trying to downplay the fact said 3-6 Mbps is painfully uncompetitive, Wilderotter called Google Fiber "hype" that "confuses customers," and that even talking about 1 Gbps services was something that was "disrespectful" to the customer base.
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by Karl Bode 07:50AM Tuesday Oct 21 2014
32 cities in nineteen different states have formed a coalition aimed at building networks in those cities that private ISPs have so far refused to. Dubbed the Next Century Cities coalition, the organization will aim to share knowledge and resources that aid the delivery of next-generation 1 Gbps networks. "The leaders whose communities participate in Next Century Cities know that reliable, affordable, and fast Internet is no longer a luxury," states the organization. "Like electricity and plumbing, it is now essential infrastructure." The group arises as the FCC looks to dismantle portions of ISP-written protectionist state laws that prohibit towns and cities from building their own networks -- even if nobody else will. The full city member list can be found here.

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by Karl Bode 09:02AM Monday Oct 20 2014
South Korea's SK Telecom today is showing off 10 Gbps connectivity SK Broadband at the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunications Union. According to Akamai’s Q2 2014 The State of the Internet report, South Korea tops the charts by delivering an average Internet connection speed of 24.6Mbps, significantly faster than the fourteenth place 11.4Mbps seen by the US.
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by Karl Bode 06:16PM Thursday Oct 09 2014
While there has been some concerns over whether or not Google Fiber will leave some potential neighborhoods high and dry, the latest stats suggest that 95% of Kansas City neighborhoods have now qualified for service. There's a large chunk of neighborhoods scattered around the Kansas City area that didn't qualify, and criticism continues over how Google's "fiberhood" approach excludes some.
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by Karl Bode 02:26PM Wednesday Oct 08 2014
Former Google Fiber boss Milo Medin recently proclaimed that the most difficult obstacle for Google in deploying fiber isn't digging ditches or dealing with government -- it's securing TV programming. Video "is the single biggest impediment" to Google Fiber deployment, Medin told attendees of the COMPTEL telecom conference in Dallas this week. "We operate at a very significant difference than incumbents we compete against," said Medin, who called programming "biggest piece of our cost structure." "We may be paying in some markets double what incumbents are paying for the same programming," he added.

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by Karl Bode 02:42PM Monday Sep 29 2014
On the heels of tweaking plans earlier this year, GVTC, Texas' largest telephone cooperative and a cable and FTTH overbuilder, has jumped into the 1 Gbps game. According to a company announcement, GVTC says they've already brought 1 Gbps speeds to the 40,000 homes in the San Antonio area already connected to their 2,200 mile fiber network. According to the company's website, pricing across the company's tiers is a bit higher than what we've seen elsewhere, with their 1 Gbps down, 100 Mbps up tier running $295 a month. The company also offers 20/3 Mbps ($80), 40/10 Mbps ($100), 80/20 Mbps ($130), and 200/50 Mbps ($200) options.

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by Karl Bode 12:18PM Wednesday Sep 24 2014
Back in July Verizon announced that the company would be making all of their FiOS tiers symmetrical, a move that was specifically aimed at cable operators struggling to keep upstream speeds on par with fiber offerings. Verizon this week took this same fight to cable operators on the small business side, announcing that they're now bumping the upstream speeds for business customers as well. According to the company announcement, the upgrades should happen automatically for "nearly all" of the company's FiOS business customers.

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by Karl Bode 10:49AM Wednesday Sep 24 2014
Comcast last night filed their reply comments to the FCC as the agency considers approving the company's $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. The filing is filled with the sort of arguments we've seen countless times already over the past few months, including Comcast's repeated claim that they face so much competition on every front there's simply no way they'd ever engage in anti-competitive behavior.
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by Karl Bode 12:30PM Wednesday Sep 17 2014
Google has replaced current Google Fiber boss Milo Medin with ex-Qualcomm executive Dennis Kish, notes the Wall Street Journal. The report notes that Medin will remain a Google vice president for access services and adviser to the Google Fiber team, but will now focus on other initiatives within Google.
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by Karl Bode 08:59AM Wednesday Sep 17 2014
Residents of North Kansas City are unable to get Google Fiber, but they will soon have the option of getting 1 Gbps connections for free from another company -- after an initial $300 installation fee. Earlier this month the City Council of North Kansas City voted to approve a 10-year agreement with DataShack for the operation of the city's liNKCity fiber optic network. While the taxpayer-funded network will still collect revenue from business, it will soon offer 1 Gbps connections for free to residential customers after a $300 installation fee (users also have the option of paying $100 for 100 Mbps or $50 for 50 Mbps), after which they won't pay another dime for a decade. "For the longest time, our taxpayers have been paying in to fund liNKCity," states liNKCity's Mellissa Hopkins. "We decided it was the right time to give something back to our residents."

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by Karl Bode 08:36AM Monday Sep 15 2014
Back in May TDS Telecom (see our user reviews) became the latest company to throw its hat into the 1 Gbps broadband ring, offering 1 Gbps speeds for $100 a month (if bundled) to residents of Hollis, New Hampshire and London, New Hampshire. Now the company states that Waterford, Wisconsin will be the latest town to get the 1 Gbps treatment, either later this year or in early 2015. Like so many other ISPs, TDS is hoping to grab some of the press attention received by Google Fiber with very selective deployment of similar speeds (they've even mirrored Google's "Fiberhood" efforts with something they're calling "Fiberville").

12 comments


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by Karl Bode 07:22PM Thursday Sep 04 2014
Verizon today reminded us in a press release (and a video, below) that the company's FioS initiative is officially ten years old. The company refreshingly bucked timid industry trends a decade ago, then CEO Ivan Seidenberg bullishly spending $24 billion on fiber to the home services that offered unheard-of speeds with no usage caps of any kind.
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by Karl Bode 05:04PM Wednesday Sep 03 2014
You can add St. Louis to the growing list of cities where AT&T says they'll offer some users 1 Gbps "Gigapower" speeds.
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by Karl Bode 08:22AM Monday Aug 25 2014
The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article exploring complaints on how Google Fiber (and responding, highly-selective deployments by CenturyLink, AT&T, and others) may fuel a digital divide by only upgrading select residents in certain cities. That said, the article claims that Google Fiber's ability to deploy fiber to just select locations helped save them 20% over traditional builds like Verizon's FiOS. "If Verizon resumes expansion, the company would consider Google's build-to-demand model because it has the potential to be more profitable," Verizon executive Chris Levendos tells the paper.

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by Karl Bode 07:59AM Friday Aug 22 2014
Add Jacksonville to the growing list of AT&T markets where the company will selectively deploy 1 Gbps U-Verse "Gigapower" service. According to the latest AT&T announcement, Jacksonville will join the list of planned AT&T cities, which so far includes Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Charlotte, Houston, Greensboro, Raleigh-Durham, and Winston-Salem and Miami. As with all the announcements, AT&T says that "specific locations of availability and pricing for the Jacksonville market will be announced at a later date." As noted previously, these deployments will primarily focus on a very select number of high-end development communities, though AT&T's getting ample marketing mileage in their PR battle with Google Fiber.

Update: Cuppertino in Silicon Valley is also being named as a Gigapower market.

19 comments


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by Karl Bode 08:38AM Thursday Aug 21 2014
Last year, Frontier Communications CEO Maggie Wilderotter stated that people don't really need 1 Gbps, and that the 3 to 6 Mbps most of her customers can get was just fine for most people. Last month, trying to downplay the fact said 3-6 Mbps is painfully uncompetitive, Wilderotter called Google Fiber "hype" that "confuses customers," and that even talking about 1 Gbps services was something that was "disrespectful" to the customer base.
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by Karl Bode 07:21PM Wednesday Aug 20 2014
Users in our CenturyLink forum note that the company is now offering 1 Gbps service in parts of Denver, though they also note that the company won't reveal where in Denver. The Denver launch comes as part of a somewhat ambiguous announcement earlier this month that CenturyLink would be offering 1 Gbps speeds in select portions of sixteen cities. Other cities where 1 Gbps is selectively being offered include Boise, where customers say users can pay $120 a month (plus a $60 installation fee) for the service with no usage caps. "Residential and business customers in the cities where we are offering ultra-fast broadband connections can go to https://www.centurylink.com/fiber/ to find out if broadband speeds up to 1 Gbps are available to them," is all the company will say when it comes to specific 1 Gbps availability.

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by Karl Bode 02:36PM Friday Aug 15 2014
A few days ago we noted that Suddenlink was the latest to throw its hat into the 1 Gbps ring, insisting that the company would be offering 1 Gbps to 90% of its customers by 2017. The move is an aggressive one for a company not historically known for aggressive upgrades, leading one to wonder how exactly Suddenlink hopes to manage this feat. While DOCSIS 3.0 can achieve a lot via channel bonding, we're several years out from seeing reliable 1 Gbps on cable, especially upstream.

The as-yet unfinished DOCSIS 3.1 standard might be able to get part of the way there when it's finished two years or so from now, but Suddenlink insists that's not what they'll be using:
quote:
Given that DOCSIS 3.1, an emerging CableLabs spec that is targeting multi-gigabit speeds, is about two years away from scaled deployments, I asked the MSO if Operation GigaSpeed “hinged on” the 3.1 technology, and the answer was no. And the company declined to answer if FTTP would factor into Operation GigaSpeed, particularly in greenfields.
2017 isn't really that far away, leaving you to wonder if Suddenlink has developed a miracle technology they're keeping hidden in the wings, or if their promise is hot air designed largely to deflect criticism for lagging behind in the age of Google Fiber.

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by Karl Bode 09:46AM Friday Aug 08 2014
Back in April Cox Communications announced that the company would be launching 1 Gbps service of their own sometime this year, though they failed to offer any meaningful specifics about where or when. In May, Cox provided a little more detail in an announcement, stating that the company's deployment of 1 Gbps service will start start with new residential construction projects and new and existing neighborhoods in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Omaha.
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