It's that time again. In this week's edition of Gigabites, EPB goes the extra Gig (or ten) for a local university, Verizon preps its own leap to 10-Gig, Google Fiber inches closer to a Salt Lake City launch and more.
UTC has a great new recruiting tool. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has now signed on for 10-Gig broadband service from local municipal provider EPB Fiber Optics . The university, which previously subscribed to an EPB tier with speeds up to 2 gigabits per second, was reportedly outgrowing its bandwidth capacity before signing on to the 10-Gig plan. According to UTC CIO Tom Hoover, each student brings with them an average of four "bandwidth-hungry devices," including laptops, mobile devices, media streamers and game consoles.
EPB only launched its 10-Gig service in the fall, and UTC is the company's first commercial customer. The muni utility also offers 10-Gig broadband to residential consumers, the first of which signed up for the ultra-high-speed tier last October. (See Gigabites: EPB Signs First 10-Gig Customer.)
Of note, EPB is using next-generation PON (NG-PON) technology from Alcatel-Lucent (now part of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)) to deliver its 10-Gig service. According to a vendor spokesperson, that technology is the company's Universal-TWDM solution. EPB uses one wavelength for its deployment today, but could add additional wavelengths in the future to reach speeds up to 40 Gbits/s. (See Chattanooga Vaults to 10-Gig With NG-PON.)
Want to learn more about Gigabit Cities? Join us, along with EPB, Google Fiber and more for Light Reading's second annual Gigabit Cities Live event taking place this year on April 5 in Charlotte, NC.
And speaking of next-gen PON, Light Reading broke the news this week that Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) has released an RFP asking for vendors to bid on the telco's planned network upgrade to NG-PON2. The NG-PON2 standard is still in development, and there are those in the industry who believe the technology will be too expensive for any near-term deployments. Verizon is likely to use NG-PON2 for enterprise customers first, but has also said it could be applied to residential markets. (See Verizon Preps Next Major Broadband Upgrade.)
Meanwhile, back in the single-gig world, Google Fiber Inc. announced this week that it's moving closer to deployment in Salt Lake City. The company opened a storefront in the Utah capital on Thursday and said gigabit service will be available in the region before the end of the year.
Over in Oklahoma, residents in the central and eastern part of the state got good news this week with the announcement that Vyve Broadband has finished building a 400-mile fiber ring that will help the company serve high-speed broadband to more rural neighborhoods. Vyve already offers gigabit broadband in some Oklahoma communities.
And finally, Seattle is still searching for a way to bring gigabit broadband to its city. Mayor Ed Murray this week said he thinks a public/private partnership is the way to go.
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading