Gigabit Cities

Gigabites: Comcast Makes Gig Service a Community Affair

It's your weekly roundup of gigabit broadband news. This week, Comcast signs a deal that could push gigabit broadband services to more apartment buildings, several top-tier ISPs, add new gigabit markets and more.

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has been quietly building up its Xfinity Advanced Communities Network business of late. Tailored for multiple dwelling units (MDUs), including apartment buildings and mixed-use properties, the company's suite of services encompasses broadband, WiFi, voice and the X1 TV product. And this week, Comcast added the Madison Apartment Group to its list of Xfinity Communities customers.

    The news is significant because Comcast is offering Internet speeds up to 1 Gbit/s as part of its Advanced Communities Network, and that option gives property owners the ability to use high-speed broadband as a way to attract tenants. It's also significant because the deal with Madison Apartment Group reaches new consumers in several major markets, including Philadelphia, Atlanta and Memphis. (See also Gigabites: NC Cities Issue New Gig RFP.)

    The rollout of gigabit broadband access networks is spreading. Find out what's happening where in our Gigabit Cities content channel here on Light Reading.

  • Even while Comcast is raising the bar on broadband speeds in a number of regions, it's also looking for ways to generate more revenue from those connections. The Washington Post this week reported that Comcast has rolled out a trial in Atlanta that offers subscribers an unlimited data plan for an extra $35 per month. Currently, Atlanta customers cap out at 300 GB of data each month, but Comcast is testing whether some users might be willing to pay a flat fee to avoid worries about exceeding that cap.

    Meanwhile, Comcast is also applying its data usage limit to more markets. DSL Reports noted that Comcast caps will go into effect in areas of Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Virginia on December 1.

  • AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Cable One Inc. and Cox Communications Inc. are all among the service providers that announced new gigabit markets this week. Adding to its "GigaPower" momentum, AT&T launched gigabit service in Jacksonville, Fla. Cable One said that it will bring gigabit broadband to 200 cities and towns, starting in 2016 with its "GigaONE" service. And Cox announced that its gigabit offering "Gigablast" will head next to Providence, R.I.

  • As gigabit services grow more popular, the market for fiber network equipment is also, unsurprisingly, trending upward. According to research firm Companies and Markets, GPON sales are now expected to reach $10 billion by 2020.

    — Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

  • Ariella 11/9/2015 | 9:36:18 AM
    Comcast Any word on how Comcast is mitigating the PR disaster from the leaked memo on Reddit? As Gizmodo put it, "The Comcast data cap 'trial' is starting to look less like a trial and more like a handy way to extract money"
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