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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
AT&T's "fiber to the press release" campaign roars on this week with announcements that the company will be deploying 1 Gbps "Gigapower" service to parts of Houston, Texas and Greensboro, North Carolina. The announcements
themselves continue to offer absolutely no specifics in terms of actual deployment numbers or pricing, AT&T only stating that "locations of availability and pricing for the Houston market will be announced at a later date." As noted previously in great detail
, AT&T has informed investors these upgrades will not meaningfully impact CAPEX because they're only going to be offered in very select areas (high-end developments or college campuses).
CenturyLink has announced limited expansion of their own fiber to the home service to limited portions of sixteen cities. According to the company announcement
, the company's 1 Gbps service will be available in some customers in portions of Seattle, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City and twelve other cities.
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 lines to residents of Hollis, New Hampshire. TDS Telecom now says they're expanding their 1 Gbps service into a second community: London, New Hampshire. According to a company announcement
, the 1 Gbps down, 400 Mbps offering can still be had for "less than $100 per month with a bundle." According to TDS, they plan to announce additional market deployments in the "coming weeks."
Last week, AT&T announced that the company would be bringing its 1 Gbps "Gigapower" service to portions of Dallas
. Now, according to a new announcement
by the company, AT&T states they'll also eventually be offering 1 Gbps connectivity to at least some customers in Nashville, Tennessee. "Specific locations of availability and pricing for the Nashville market will be announced at a later date," notes the company. As noted in detail
, AT&T remains ambiguous about precise deployment numbers because they're only planning to target very select, high-end development communities for this ultra-fast service, but wants the public relations benefit of the perception of a much larger deployment.
Billing glitches for Verizon's new "free" symmetrical FiOS upgrades are resulting in rate hikes for some users. Verizon recently announced that the company would be bumping FiOS upstream speeds
so they match the company's downstream speeds, effectively making all FiOS tiers symmetrical.
Dissatisfied with service from the likes of Time Warner Cable, last fall the city of Los Angeles used an innovative approach to get 1 Gbps connections to all city residents: they simply asked if any companies wanted to come to town to build and fund an all fiber network. As we noted at the time this was a fairly obvious pipe dream
, experts noting that the city wasn't really bringing any inducements to the table to lure companies to invest.
Google announced back in February
that they were working with 34 potential new Google Fiber cities, requesting those cities fill out and agree to a fiber ready checklist
to make installation easier. Speaking on the company's earnings call last week
, Google SVP and CFO Patrick Pichette stated that the economics behind Google Fiber continue to improve, and that their work with those 34 cities continues. "Over the coming months we’ll actually be going through all of the details with them, whether it would be right away or permitting or otherwise, and that’s what we’re going to use to make decisions as to how broad a program will have," states Pichette. It remains entirely unclear how many of those 34 cities will actually see future Google Fiber builds.
Verizon's shaking things up by making all of the company's FiOS broadband tiers symmetrical, bringing upstream speeds in line with downstream offerings. When Verizon FiOS originally came out the company's fiber-based offering was the cream of the crop, though Verizon has dulled their market-leading edge in recent years with a seemingly endless series of rate hikes and annoying fees
A report in the Telegraph
claims that Google may be interested in someday expanding Google Fiber into the UK. Google has held talks with a British company by the name of CityFibre, though those talks broke down after the company began worrying a partnership would damage their relationships with UK incumbents.
writes in to note that Netflix has offered their latest streaming performance rankings for broadband ISPs
. Cablevision, Cox and Suddenlink continue to take the top three spots among the largest ISPs (head here
and click on "expand results" to see smaller ISPs like Google Fiber included in the rankings).
Google's working hard on an update to the rather minimalist
, black set top boxes the company uses for their Google Fiber TV service. Dave Zatz at Zatz Not Funny
noticed the new device over at the FCC website. The GFHD200 will replace the GFHD100, and will integrate 10/100 Ethernet, MoCA 1.1/2.0, dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and HDMI 1.4. Zatz also notes Google's cooking up a new remote for the device that uses Bluetooth LE. There's no indication yet of what the new device will look like or when we'll see an official release.
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. Google's quick however to point out that almost all of the area’s 20 poorest neighborhoods qualified for Google Fiber. "A lot of people in Kansas City want Google Fiber, and we’re going to do everything we can to get it to them by the end of the year," insists company spokeswoman Jenna Wandres.
Previously, we have discussed a number
in Kansas City where those installing Google Fiber were "butchering
" the homeowner’s property. Although Google says they're learning as they go, complaints are still rolling in about installers tearing apart property with rutted lawns and busted gas lines.
·more stories, story search, most popular ..
Recent news contributors