April 1, 2016
It's Friday. Time for Gigabites. This week, EPB gets up close and personal with the alligators, the gigabit scene heats up in LA, Suddenlink expands service in North Carolina and more.
What's a gigabit good for anyway? EPB Fiber Optics has a new answer. The municipal broadband provider in Chattanooga, Tenn. launched a new display screen in the Chattanooga airport this week featuring live 4K/Ultra HD footage of the inside of the Tennessee Aquarium's alligator habitat. Figure 1: Screen capture of EPB's live 4K video feed of the Tennessee Aquarium's alligator habitat
Calling it the "first municipal demonstration of ultra-high definition live video in the country," EPB and its host city are touting the demo as a tourist attraction, a first look at what's available in downtown Chattanooga. It's also a way to draw attention to the unique high-speed broadband service EPB has to offer. After turning Chattanooga into one of the nation's first gigabit cities, EPB recently started promoting 10-Gig residential service with the help of Nokia's next-gen PON fiber technology. (See Chattanooga Vaults to 10-Gig With NG-PON.)
If the lifelike alligator video isn't enough to scare visitors away, the new airport display should act as a handy advertisement for EPB, and a way to show passersby what kind of video experience gigabit broadband can enable.
Want to learn more about EPB? There's still time to register for our Gigabit Cities Live event in Charlotte on April 5 to hear EPB's Colman Keane speak.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has its own plan to draw attention to its gigabit service. The telco has for months put out a steady stream of announcements covering new gigabit neighborhood deployments and milestones. In the latest press release, AT&T highlights its gigabit service in the Los Angeles metro area. According to the company, GigaPower is now available to tens of thousands of locations locally, and AT&T plans to make the Los Angeles metro one of its largest areas of gigabit service in the country.
It's worth noting that Google Fiber Inc. recently announced that it too will take its Gigabit service to LA; a service that now offers triple-play bundles with the recent introduction of Google Fiber Phone landline voice service. (See Google Eyes Chicago & LA for Fiber Expansion and Google Fiber Moves a Step Closer to Cable.)
Back on the East Coast, Suddenlink Communications also announced a new gigabit expansion effort this week. Residents of New Bern, N.C., can now access the cable company's DOCSIS 3.0-powered gigabit service.
And finally, a new town in Tennessee is getting a gigabit thanks to the efforts of John "Thunder" Thornton. Thunder (Thornton) is leading the real estate development Jasper Highlands project and has decided to add gigabit broadband to the list of attractions for his 3,000-acre plot of land. Thunder Enterprises has created its own ISP known as Hi-Tech Data LLC and is connecting to service provided in nearby Alabama by the North Alabama Electric Cooperative.
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading
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