It's that time again: In this week's Gigabites roundup, analysts forecast AT&T's surge past Google in the gigabit race in 2017* and an overall 10x increase in gigabit connections this year. Plus, Mediacom and newly branded Midco update their gigabit plans, the NCTC certifies more gigabit-capable providers and more.
Now financial analysts are trying to cut through the hype. When it comes to concrete numbers, analyst Paul de Sa of Bernstein Research predicts that Google Fiber will reach roughly 2.4 million homes by the end of 2017. In contrast, MoffettNathanson predicts that AT&T will reach 5 million "customer locations" in the same time period. If accurate, that puts AT&T at more than double Google's gigabit reach in less than two years.
The only problem? AT&T's gigabit momentum may peter out before the end of the decade once it satisfies the requirements imposed by regulators as part of the company's deal to acquire DirecTV. After that, it's anyone's game.
*UPDATE: AT&T wrote to Light Reading to say that -- measured by the number of markets launched -- the company is already beating Google in gigabit deployments. As recounted by a spokesperson, AT&T is currently live in 20 markets, while Google Fiber is live in three. AT&T also says it has already made gigabit service available to more than 1 million locations.
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading