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AT&T Spreads Fiber & G.fast Wings

Alan Breznick
8/22/2017
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Seeking to claim the US broadband speed crown from Comcast, Google Fiber and other leading rivals, AT&T is extending the reach of its fiber network within its footprint and launching G.fast service in nearly two dozen markets outside its footprint.

For starters, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), the US's third-largest broadband provider after Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Charter Communications Inc. with nearly 15.7 million subscribers at the end of June, announced today that it's extending its all-fiber network to two midsized metro areas in the Southeast -- Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss. and Savannah, Ga. With that extension, AT&T Fiber now reaches parts of 57 metros across the country. (See AT&T Going Gig in 50+ Metros.)

Further, AT&T said it is expanding FTTH coverage of more than 60 communities in 20 of its existing fiber markets. The list includes such major markets as Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, San Antonio and San Francisco. The company did not spell out how much it's increasing its fiber coverage, which enables symmetrical 1 Gig service, in those 60 communities.

With these moves, AT&T claims to have the largest fiber network in its 21-state home broadband footprint, reaching more than 5.5 million residential and commercial locations across the 57 markets after adding over 1.5 million sites since Jan. 1. Plans call for extending service availability to another 1.5 million locations by year's end, boosting the total to 7 million.

Of those 5.5 million homes and businesses now reached by AT&T Fiber, the telco said it has signed up more than 2 million broadband subscribers. The company did not, however, break out how many of those subs are new ones, as opposed to DSL customers who have been upgraded to the new FTTH network.

How those numbers compare to the high-speed data sub totals of AT&T's chief competitors is still largely anybody's guess because no one is talking yet. Comcast, for instance, has not yet revealed how many of its market-leading 25.3 million broadband subscribers are getting gigabit service through its own FTTH and DOCSIS 3.1 deployments.


For more gigabit coverage and insights, check out our dedicated gigabit/broadband content channel here on Light Reading.


At the same time that it's expanding its fiber reach for gigabit speeds, AT&T is also launching G.fast service over its copper wires throughout the US. Focusing on multiple-dwelling-unit (MDU) properties like apartment and condo buildings, the company said it is now offering 500 Mbit/s service in eight markets after wrapping up a G.fast trial in Minneapolis. The initial eight markets are Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle and Tampa. (See AT&T: Mining the MDU Market and AT&T Explores G.fast for MDUs.)

Plans call for extending service to MDUs in another 14 markets outside its traditional footprint shortly, including such larger ones as Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C. and Salt Lake City, with more markets possible by the end of the year. In addition, AT&T indicated that it could boost download speeds for its G.fast subs to 1 Gig eventually.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

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brooks7
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brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/7/2017 | 6:01:42 PM
Re: AT&T G.fast over coax
So, what kind of fixed wireless technology are they using....Licensed Band Pt-Pt at 1G?  500Mb/s?

Seems awful complicated.

seven

 

 

 
spawnbsd
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spawnbsd,
User Rank: Lightning
9/7/2017 | 3:02:55 PM
AT&T G.fast over coax
AT&T is only doing G.fast over coax in MDU's that are part of their existing DirectTV footprint. The existing DirectTV equipment is already on the roof top, with home run coax to each suite in the MDU. The wireless backhaul gear is also placed on the roof, and connected to a 16 port Adtran G.fast DPU (again, also on roof).

In buildings where they don't already have a DirectTV footprint, AT&T will not use G.fast over coax.
comtech3
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comtech3,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/24/2017 | 11:23:11 AM
Re: G.Fast
I have been reading some of the posting here, and it seems most of you have no clue as to what is going on here. I live in Philadelphia, and here is a little known history of video ISPs in the city. Prior to direct broadcast satelite, and after the demise of MATS, or mast antenna system, which were rooftop antennae connected to a headend found in apartment complex that had that kind of service, a company called Popvision was formed. Popvision's technology, used  microwave signalling and line-of-sight  with antennae of high rise building, then forming mesh network to somehow deliver, or relay their video feed to homes afixed with a directional attenna in lower elevations. For the most part, the service worked, and a worthy competitor to the incumbent CATV provider, Wade Cable. However, because the technology was microwave, weather conditions was an inhibiting factor, and with the advent of digital cable, Popvision could not compete, and went out of business.

Now, the point I am trying to make is that At&T, trying a similar technique as the defunct Popvision, but with millimeter wave technology. These proposed MDUs  will not have fiber ran to them, but a RAN, or some kind of wireless mesh system being feed from their closest cell towers. The millimeter wave antenna and a separate direct broadcast parabolic antenna, will be mounted atop these MDUs, and a tap with a diplex filter that is in turn connected to existing coaxial cables, or newly ran ones.

But here lies the problem in Philly. Many of these MDUs, are like umbilical cords tied to Comcast, AT&T is going to have a hard time getting management to agree their offerings. This has happened to Verizon and their Fios in many locales. In addition, the City of Philadelphia is so pro Comcast, that it is difficult for another ISP to enter, as was the case with RCN.

 

 
MrFinance
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MrFinance,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/24/2017 | 6:10:27 AM
Re: Directv Owned Coax
Aha, fascinating thanks James. That would explain it, otherwise deploying G.Fast rather than fibre makes little sense. I guess they go with G.Fast over coax rather than Docsis to help with scaling equipment for their twisted pair in-footprint deploymentand because the DirecTV cabling has a spectrum plan that makes Docsis ineffective due to DTH being in the band?

Could they also intend to use an appartment's communal Terrestial TV coax if the MDU owner gave permission?

Who are the CLECs in these out of footprint areas? Why are they letting AT&T eat their lunch instead of deploying their own G.Fast over twisted pair in the MDUs? Have they just given up on broadband?
JDonahue
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JDonahue,
User Rank: Lightning
8/23/2017 | 7:04:46 PM
Directv Owned Coax
AT&T owns a boat load of MDU coax nationwide because Directv has been wiring buildings for a long time.

This entire project could just be focused on existing Directv wired MDUs.
KBode
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KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/23/2017 | 4:51:05 PM
Re: G.Fast
"NYC, Philly, Boston - all Comcast and Verizon home territory.   Will they punch back?"

I certainly hope so. If it brings competition to many of these areas, I'm all for it. 
bosco_pcs
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bosco_pcs,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/23/2017 | 4:22:16 PM
Re: G.Fast
If memory serves, Verizon has a deal with the whole town doing something something, so if you use that kind of imagination, you are gain right of way easier when there is some technical flexibility. Certainly, access is hard and last time is harder, perhaps that is why Verizon couldn't get FiOS off the ground. That said, the users should not have problems with better access so long as it is not [as] disruptive. Cities like Boston actually pressure Verizon to make rollouts. So it is not a one way street.

Ultimately, does better - more importantly, cheaper - technologies like Adtran's G.Fast, would people bite?

http://www.lightreading.com/gigabit/dsl-vectoring-gfast/adtran-gfast-extends-gigabit-reach/d/d-id/735624?itc=lrnewsletter_lrdaily

Perhaps it requires some slick salesmanship, never mind sometimes sales and implementations are not the same :)
brooks7
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brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/23/2017 | 3:58:04 PM
Re: G.Fast
Well depends on what you mean does it matter.

Q1 - Where do they put the equipment?  If you are not in the basement and are not the ILEC, where do you put it?  

Q2 - How do you power it?

Q3 - How are you getting your cable from 650m over to the building?

These questions and more were questions that Google found out are hard.  Now if you have access to the basement and riser...well then easy peasy fresh and squeezy.  Then the only problem is after hours access for service.

seven

 

 

 

 

 
bosco_pcs
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bosco_pcs,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/23/2017 | 3:30:39 PM
Re: G.Fast
Presumbly, Adtran's could extend from 50m-100m to 650m, does it matter?
brooks7
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brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/23/2017 | 3:15:01 PM
Re: G.Fast
The building owner owns the building.  That means that they have to agree to allow your fiber in their building and put whatever cabling they want in their risers and conduits.  There are a number of owners who sole source access to their residents.  Generally, there is some trade like free video surveillence or security.  There is no mandatory access requirements put on the building owner.  

seven

 

 
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