AT&T begins GigaPower rollout in Winston-Salem & Durham, NC; Future expansion plans & roll out procedures
AT&T’s GigaPower -which competes with Google Fiber- is currently available in Austin, TX. This Tuesday, AT&T received approval from the city of Winston-Salem, N.C., to begin building out its FTTH based GigaPower service. That comes two months after AT&T announced it was in talks with the North Carolina Next Generation Network to bring high-speed fiber to the state. Winston-Salem is one of six cities in North Carolina expected to receive AT&T’s GigaPower service. Another is Durham, NC, which was announced today: http://about.att.com/story/att_uverse_with_gigapower_fiber_network_coming_to_durham.html
The company expects GigaPower construction and deployment to begin in other communities this year. Metro areas being explored for GigaPower include: Atlanta, Augusta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Ft. Worth, Greensboro, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Oakland, Orlando, Raleigh-Durham, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose/Santa Clara, St. Louis.
This blog from Eric Small, AT&T Vice President of Fiber Broadband Planning, explains some of the more technical aspects as to how the company is rolling out GigaFiber: http://blogs.att.net/consumerblog/story/a7791741
Technical Outline of GigaPower Process:
· U-verse with GigaPower enables residents who sign up to enjoy speeds of up to 300 megabytes per second
o Within the next year, AT&T plans to boost speeds to up to 1 gigabyte per second
· Traditionally, fiber network connection that starts at AT&T’s central switching office. Fiber cable from the office runs to a VRAD equipment box in the neighborhood, which then uses existing copper wires to transmit U-verse signals to homes
o GigaPower bypasses the VRAD by using a passive optical splitter which runs fiber directly into homes
· Armored fiber ‘drop’ cable connects the customer home to the network
o Drop cable connects to the Optical Network Terminal (ONT) outside of the home. A CAT5e or CAT6 cable connects the ONT to the U-verse residential gateway inside the home.
o Cable splicing is done in the factory instead of the field, saving time and money and enables higher quality connection
More information on GigaPower can be found at: http://about.att.com/mediakit/gigapower
As part of it’s proposed acquistion of DirecTV, AT&T told the FCC and Justice Dept:
“AT&T commits to deploying high-speed broadband to 15 million new customers as part of the transaction, but only two million will receive high-speed fiber connections.”
AT&T said its U-Verse product, which supplies high-speed broadband and pay-TV services to almost six million customers, could at best cover only a quarter of the nation’s TV households.