Welcome to your Labor Day holiday edition of Gigabites. This week, Texas takes the prize for new gigabit deployments, while a school district in Iowa scores a broadband upgrade just in time for classes to start.
Working with the motto that everything's bigger in Texas, Suddenlink Communications announced this week that it's expanding gigabit service to seven new Texas towns, including Lubbock, Shalowater, Wolfforth, Post, Midland, Andrews and Big Spring. The company, which is now being acquired by French operator Altice , launched "Operation Gigaspeed" in August 2014 and has pledged to invest $250 million into the effort above and beyond its other capital spending plans. Suddenlink also noted at the time that it would target small and midsized markets, offering gigabit service to everyone in those communities.
Prior to this week's news, Suddenlink was live with gigabit service in only four cities -- Bryan-College Station, Texas; Nixa, Mo.; and Greenville and Rocky Mount, N.C. -- which were announced in July. Unlike other cable companies pushing gigabit speeds over all-fiber networks, Suddenlink is relying on DOCSIS 3.0 to drive service above the 1 Gbit/s mark. (See Suddenlink Goes Full Blast.)
With the school year getting under way, Mediacom Communications Corp. has announced that it's bringing gigabit speeds to schools in the Burlington Community School District of Iowa. Noting its commitment to connecting anchor institutions like schools and libraries, Mediacom said the deployment would reach 15 individual locations and bring service to 4,000 students in the region. Part of the need for the high-capacity network comes from the fact that students in grades 6-12 in the Burlington district are given access to connected devices. At that level, the volume of users becomes an issue when bandwidth resources are limited.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is on a roll with its GigaPower launches, and it wants the whole world to know. The telco released a map this week highlighting regions where it has already deployed gigabit service, where construction is underway and where there are plans for future gigabit rollouts. Currently, service is available in 15 markets, primarily spread across Texas and the southeastern US.
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading