Welcome to your weekly edition of Gigabites. In today's column, Google Fiber customizes its approach; Sonic goes big in San Francisco; AT&T sues the city of Louisville; and more.
Google Fiber said this week that it will bring service to Huntsville, Ala., with the help of an open-access network currently under development by locally-owned Huntsville Utilities. Details are scarce, but Google Fiber did explain that Huntsville -- which is notably the headquarters town for network equipment provider Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN) -- planned its network deployment while also asking for interest from ISPs to join the project. Google Fiber responded and is now an official partner to the soon-to-be-gigabit city.
Huntsville wasn't the only market launch for Google Fiber this week, however. Shortly after the Alabama announcement, the company also revealed plans to enter San Francisco with gigabit service. In a blog post, Google Fiber's Michael Slinger said the company will use existing fiber to connect "some apartments and condos" in the city to high-speed Internet. While the deployment certainly sounds limited, Slinger also added that Google Fiber will be "connecting some public and affordable housing properties to gigabit speed Internet -- for free," part of the company's continuing effort to help close the digital divide.
CEO Dane Jasper said in a Twitter conversation that the San Francisco deployment "initially started in 2011. It's been a huge learning process for our organization." The service is available first for the Sunset and Richmond Districts.
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading