Fibre expansion abounds at AT&T, Comcast, Cox, CenturyLink

7 May 2015

The largest US broadband provider by subscribers Comcast has announced it will expand residential multi-gigabit fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband services to more than 2.4 million customers across several markets in the Greater Chicago Region starting later this month. ‘Gigabit Pro’, Comcast’s symmetrical 2Gbps service, will be offered broadly across the region to customers in Illinois and Northwest Indiana. ‘Greater Chicago Region customers will be the first in the Midwest to have access to multi-gigabit speeds,’ said John Crowley, Regional Senior Vice President of Comcast Cable’s Greater Chicago Region. Earlier this year, Comcast launched the Gigabit Pro service in Atlanta, California, Chattanooga and Florida.

Meanwhile, the country’s second-largest broadband provider by users AT&T has expanded its AT&T Business Fiber service to businesses in more than 180 US cities, providing upload and download speeds up to 300Mbps, with plans to reach up to 1Gbps. AT&T launched the AT&T Business Fiber service in September 2014, initially to fibre-ready multi-tenant buildings in cities such as Austin, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; Indianapolis, Indiana; Sacramento, California; and Orlando, Florida. In the residential market, AT&T recently said it was mulling plans to expand its ‘GigaPower’ 1Gbps FTTH network from the existing nine partially covered markets, to up to 100 cities and municipalities across 25 markets.

Not to be outdone, Cox Communications, the third largest cableco in the US (and seventh-largest broadband operator), has announced that its ‘G1gablast’ 1Gbps service – using GPON-based fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology plus DOCSIS 3.1-enabled equipment – is available in additional markets including selected areas of Phoenix, Arizona and Irvine, California, adding to an initial footprint which included Omaha, Nebraska and Las Vegas. Cox says it will also expand G1gablast to Arkansas, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Oklahoma and Virginia this summer, and will switch on the 1Gbps service in all markets that it serves in 13 US states by the end of 2016.

Finally, fifth-placed broadband operator by users CenturyLink has announced a commitment to bring 1Gbps FTTP speeds to approximately 100,000 residential customers in Utah in the next twelve months in a number of locations. CenturyLink notes that its February 2014 launch of 1Gbps services to 2,500 Salt Lake City businesses in multi-tenant buildings has now grown to more than 11,500 business locations throughout the state. TeleGeography records that CenturyLink offered 1Gbps FTTP services to residential customers in selected cities in nine states including Utah by Q4 2014, in addition to businesses in an additional six cities.