Forget about Austin, Atlanta is well on its way towards becoming the next nexus of the growing Gigabit Cities movement.
Over the past couple of months, Google Fiber Inc. , AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) have all announced plans to launch Gigabit services in the Big Peach, where every main street seems to be called Peachtree. What's more, Atlanta has become the very first metro area in the US to see 2-Gig service, now that Comcast has started its Gigabit Pro rollout there. (See AT&T GigaPower Reaches Atlanta Area and Comcast Preps 2-Gig Service… Over Fiber.)
That's why Atlanta will soon trump Austin, which is now enjoying Gigabit rollouts by its own trio of broadband providers, including Google Fiber, AT&T and Grande Communications , all of which are developing 1-Gig services in and around the Texas state capital.
And that's what makes Atlanta the perfect place for Light Reading to stage its inaugural Gigabit Cities Live conference this week. This two-day live event, which kicks off Wednesday morning, will focus on the Gigabit service deployments sweeping the US and their implication for the nation's future.
Four of the five major US broadband providers that have started Gigabit rollouts -- AT&T, CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL), Comcast and Cox Communications Inc. -- will play leading roles in the conference with keynote talks. Only Google Fiber, the upstart instigator that largely sparked the moves by the others, will be conspicuous by its absence. (But we'll get them the next time around.)
The public sector side will be well represented at the conference as well, with the CTOs or CIOs of such cities as Boston, Seattle, Raleigh, Atlanta, Columbus, Santa Fe and Santa Monica and the mayor of Chattanooga, Tenn., all speaking. There will also be county, regional and state officials participating, as well as officials from such federal agencies as NTIA and public initiatives as US Ignite.
All in all, it promises to be, well, a Gigablast of an event, to steal a term that Cox has coined for its new Gigabit service. So, if you happen to be in or near Atlanta over the next two days, please drop by the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel downtown and check out the dawn of the new Gigabit Era.
— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading