Welcome to another Gigabites roundup. In this edition, Greensboro looks to join its NC neighbors in the gigabit club, Google green-lights possible gig expansion in three new cities, Comcast takes fiber to the MDU and more.
The cities of Greensboro, High Point and Burlington in North Carolina, along with Guildford County, two local universities and the Piedmont Triad Regional Council are collaborating on a new effort to bring gigabit broadband services to their region. Calling the effort the Tri-Gig High Speed Broadband Initiative, the groups are now seeking a network deployment partner and have issued a request for proposals. The RFP lists some very specific requirements, including that a partner provide "high speed internet service over a wired or wireless network at a substantial discount from current market prices."
The new Tri-Gig initiative sounds remarkably similar to the North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN) project. In 2012, six other NC cities and their university partners in the Research Triangle area joined together to push for high-speed broadband services. NCNGN ultimately partnered with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) for gigabit deployments, which are underway today. (See AT&T's Going to Carolina With 1 Gig.)
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.
After announcing it would assess the potential for bringing gigabit services to Irvine, Calif.; Louisville, Ky.; and San Diego, Calif. in September, Google Fiber Inc.has now extended the same evaluation process to three new cities. They are Oklahoma City, Okla.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Tampa, Fla.
Much like a candidate forming an exploratory committee, Google hasn't committed to actually deploying gigabit service in any of these regions, but just the possibility is enough to get citizens excited… and to make competitors nervous. (See Gigabites: A Gigabit Battle in Tennessee.)
Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) marked a win this week with its Advanced Communities Network solution. As part of an effort to gain more MDU business, the company has now deployed the fiber-based service with its first customer in Connecticut. College & Crown, a property in New Haven with mixed residential and retail space, now has access to broadband and TV services from Comcast. Those services also come with the promise of gigabit broadband once DOCSIS 3.1 technology is available.