October 23, 2015
Gigabites returns from hiatus with new multi-gigabit deployments and potential trouble on Charter's high-speed horizon. Plus, more competition in North Carolina as Ting and CenturyLink lay down gigabit claims.
Scarcely a week after EPB Fiber Optics launched a new Internet tier in Chattanooga with speeds up to 10 Gbits/s (something Light Reading reported was possible with EPB back in July), the municipal provider has now signed up its first 10-Gig customer. According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, radiologist Jim Busch has become the world's first residential customer with a 10-Gig connection. (See Chattanooga Vaults to 10-Gig With NG-PON and EPB: 10Gbit/s Service Feasible Within a Year.)
Not surprisingly, Dr. Busch plans to use the high-speed broadband for reading and sharing diagnostic images (a bandwidth-heavy activity) with other radiologists. The new multi-gig service is costing him $299 per month.
Home Telecom in South Carolina has also decided to jump on the 10-Gig bandwagon. The company says it's working with broadband vendor Calix Inc. (NYSE: CALX) to deliver multi-gigabit speeds to the Nexton community outside of Charleston, which includes more than 10,000 households. The next-generation PON (NG-PON) technology that Home Telecom will use for the deployment is designed to operate alongside existing GPON solutions, making it a useful choice for diverse networking environments.
Charter Communications Inc. is one of the few major US cable operators without a gigabit broadband plan in place, but the company has now agreed (in a non-binding commitment) to provide gigabit service to one apartment building in Louisville, KY as part of the terms of a deal to take over Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC)'s franchise agreement with the city.
Louisville isn't the first to demand gigabit concessions from Charter. The New York Public Service Commission has also suggested that Charter should build out gigabit networks in the upstate New York region as a condition of approval of its acquisition of TWC. However, Charter is pushing back in the case of New York, saying it will offer speeds up to 300 Mbit/s in the region within the next three and a half years. The company may have further battles to fight before the TWC acquisition attempt is over. (See On Paper, Support Runs High for Charter/TWC.)
The rollout of gigabit broadband access networks is spreading. Find out what's happening where in our Gigabit Cities content channel here on Light Reading.
After acknowledging that North Carolina is an attractive target for gigabit deployments over the summer, service provider Ting now says it will expand into Holly Springs, NC for its third gigabit network rollout. Ting already operates gigabit services in Charlottesville, VA and Westminster, MD. (See Gigabites: Ting Scouts NC for New Gig Sites.)
Following Ting's announcement, a consumer on the user forums at DSLReports also noted that CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) is now emailing customers in the region saying it will offer speeds up to 1 Gbit/s in the area as well. However, the consumer was later told that the service isn't ready at his address yet, so it may be some time before CenturyLink is prepared to make good on its North Carolina gigabit promise.
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading
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