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Ultra-Broadband

AT&T Prepping for GPON

Sources say AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is putting its GPON vendors through rigorous acceptance testing and could begin rapid installations of the gear towards the end of this year, thus keeping its promise to deploy GPON in 2008.

AT&T set that timetable in June, saying it would be installing GPON in its greenfield fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) deployments, with Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) providing the gear. (See AT&T Picks GPON Players.)

Ma Bell confirmed that it's still planning to install GPON sometime this year but would give no more specific details on the timetable.

Nor has AT&T commented on the size of these GPON deployments. Heavy Reading senior analyst Graham Finnie, in his FTTH Worldwide Technology Update & Market Forecast, estimates that the deployment could reach several hundred thousand new customers per year from 2009 onwards. (See GPON Driving Worldwide Growth of FTTH.)

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), the other major carrier in the U.S. doing GPON rollouts, announced earlier this year that it would drastically increase its pace in 2008, naming nine states in which all new FiOS installations would be GPON based. (See Verizon Preps GPON Push

But Verizon is putting GPON into older developments as well as greenfield ones, aiming to eventually deliver 100 Mbit/s to each home. (See Verizon Spells Out 100 Mbit/s and Verizon Leads the Great 100-Mbit/s Bandwidth Race.)

AT&T sends around 25 Mbit/s to each home over its mostly fiber-to-the-node network, but only 10 Mbit/s of that bandwidth can be allocated towards downstream Internet speeds. (See AT&T Ups U-verse Downloads.)

The company told Broadband Reports back in October that this number would not be higher for its FTTH deployments, in order to "maintain a consistent user experience across the board."

While AT&T has not officially saidt it would begin installing GPON in existing neighborhoods, speculation is that further increase in bandwidth demands from customers will eventually pressure the company into doing so. Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie figures this could happen in 2012.

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

materialgirl 12/5/2012 | 3:45:43 PM
re: AT&T Prepping for GPON New fiber in greenfield housing developments. In this economy, how many is that? They just might build fiber to both of them.
lamdaswavelength 12/5/2012 | 3:45:42 PM
re: AT&T Prepping for GPON Clearly any greenfield housing developments would deploy or at least plan for FTTH. You'd have to pretty dim not to.
Mark Sebastyn 12/5/2012 | 3:45:29 PM
re: AT&T Prepping for GPON I think Materialgirls point was that with housing inventories at record highs it is foolish to expect any new greenfield developments for some time.
alcaseltzer 12/5/2012 | 3:45:27 PM
re: AT&T Prepping for GPON "Two" might be optimistic. Haven't you heard? We're in a recession. Ask the Bear Sterns (former) employees.
materialgirl 12/5/2012 | 3:45:26 PM
re: AT&T Prepping for GPON That WAS my point. ATT can make that empty promise because they know they can sound good, and not deliver anything. WHAT greenfields?
alcaseltzer 12/5/2012 | 3:45:24 PM
re: AT&T Prepping for GPON Materialgirl - we're violently in agreement. There are home builders filing for bankruptcy, or having their land foreclosed upon by local municipalities or counties. I wasn't laughing at you, I was trying to laugh with you. :)
materialgirl 12/5/2012 | 3:45:23 PM
re: AT&T Prepping for GPON Sad, isn't it, when we can only joke about how screwed up the economy is.
alcaseltzer 12/5/2012 | 3:45:22 PM
re: AT&T Prepping for GPON Well, no, there's always the Gov. of New York sex scandal to joke about. Oh wait, that's sad too...

Well, ok, how 'bout his replacement, and the affairs both he and his wife had several years back... Nope, that's sad too...

:)
grunt 12/5/2012 | 3:45:18 PM
re: AT&T Prepping for GPON It is funny, but I suspect this is actually a big deal. Even in a recession I suspect the new builds will be substantial. For instance it looks like for all NA in Q407 there were about ~275,000. ThatGÇÖs with a slow down for the Q4 compared to rest of 2007. Even if you say AT&T is 1/2 NA and this number slows down even more. 400,000 annual is a good clip for a company who didnGÇÖt seem serious about FTTH not too long ago...
This seems to be a very substantial number compared to FTTH deployments in NA to date as well.
grunt 12/5/2012 | 3:45:18 PM
re: AT&T Prepping for GPON It is funny, but I suspect this is actually a big deal. Even in a recession I suspect the new builds will be substantial. For instance it looks like for all NA in Q407 there were about ~275,000. ThatGÇÖs with a slow down for the Q4 compared to rest of 2007. Even if you say AT&T is 1/2 NA and this number slows down even more. 400,000 annual is a good clip for a company who didnGÇÖt seem serious about FTTH not too long ago...
This seems to be a very substantial number compared to FTTH deployments in NA to date as well.
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