news US technology giants AT&T and Google this week launched new Fibre to the Premises networks in several US cities, with the flagship feature of the networks being their ability to offer gigabit speeds (1Gbps) to residents and businesses in the areas they cover.
In a media release issued yesterday in the US, giant telco AT&T noted that it was launching its ‘GigaPower’ FTTP network in the city of Los Angeles.
The telco noted that it had first launched its FTTP network in Austin, Texas, two years ago. Since that time, the network has expanded to multiple US metro areas. By 2015, AT&T had deployed its FTTP network to more than 1 million locations, and the telco expects to double that figure by the end of 2016.
“AT&T GigaPower is available in 20 of the nation’s largest metros areas, and we’ve announced plans to expand our ultra-fast Internet service in parts of 36 additional metro areas – which will total at least 56 metros served,” the telco said.
“We plan to continue to roll out our fastest Internet services over a 100% fiber network to reach more than 14 million residential and commercial locations.”
The news comes as Google, too, has this week launched new FTTP infrastructure. An article in the Salt Lake Tribune — a major newspaper serving the Salt Lake City area — noted that Google had been laying FTTP cables in the city for the past year, and was now finally ready to start selling gigabit broadband in the area.
Google had purchased iProvo, an existing fibre network in the area, with the Salt Lake City rollout representing an expansion of its operations in the area. It has now launched a storefront in Salt Lake City where residents can sign up to the Google Fiber service.
The news come as the chief executive of Australia’s own NBN company, Bill Morrow, stated last week that a trip to the US, where NBN executives visited a number of telcos including AT&T and Google, illustrated that there was not sufficient demand for gigabit broadband services to justify rolling out a Fibre to the Premises network in Australia.
The moves by both Google and AT&T appear to have come in response to demand from consumer and businesses in the US for very high-speed broadband services, up to 1Gbps.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that a Wall Street Journal survey had found that more than 50 percent of upper-income households in Kansas City, where Google has already deployed infrastructure, opted for Google’s gigabit broadband package (US$70 per month), although the figure was substantially lower in lower-income neighbourhoods.
In its own media release, AT&T stated that demand driving its rollout.
“Demand for AT&T GigaPower and sales have exceeded expectations since arriving in the Los Angeles area at the end of last year,” said Eric Boyer, senior vice president of AT&T wireless and wired product marketing. “The faster speeds offered through AT&T GigaPower keep people and small businesses connected as they are accessing more content on more devices. This improves a customer’s experience when they are connecting to the cloud, hosting a videoconference, streaming videos and music, playing online games and more.”
“High-speed Internet has become as essential of a utility as water, power and gas, for education, economic development, entertainment and day to day life in Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Bob Blumenfield. Blumenfield who has been a leader in the City’s efforts to expand Internet service.
“I’m very happy to see this expanded AT&T service to help support job growth in small business and provide fast connections for families and students at home.”