Another Friday, another Gigabites. In this week's edition, Windstream announces gigabit trials, municipal broadband suffers a setback in Seattle and more.
Looking to offset DSL subscriber losses and stay competitive in the Gigabit Cities race, Windstream Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: WIN) now says it will start testing gigabit broadband services in select regions where it has already deployed fiber. At the recent Wells Fargo Securities Technology, Media & Telecom Conference (hat tip DSLReports), CEO Tony Thomas stated that trials will begin in December with expansion planned for 2016.
In at least one market, Windstream, which also started offering an IP-based TV service in April, will soon have new gigabit competition. (See Windstream Ramps Up TV & Commercial Biz.)
Lincoln-based Nelnet in Nebraska this week announced its own plans to deliver gigabit service in the area; a location where both Windstream and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) already do business. Nelnet acquired ALLO Communications recently and, with it, that company's deal with the city to access fiber infrastructure already deployed locally. Nelnet says it will offer gigabit service to every home and business by sometime in 2019.
The rollout of gigabit broadband access networks is spreading. Find out what's happening where in our dedicated Gigabit Cities content channel here at Light Reading.
The city of Seattle is still struggling to bring high-speed broadband to town. After previous efforts to deploy fiber failed, the City Council this week voted down a proposal for a new pilot municipal broadband effort that would have cost $5 million. Earlier this year, a study suggested that a broad municipal deployment would cost Seattle between $480 and $665 million. Officials say that type of expense wouldn't be manageable without outside funding.
FairPoint Communications Inc. is getting into the gigabit game. The company says it will launch its first gigabit service in select areas around Portsmouth, N.H., in December. Pricing may be an issue, however. While gigabit services in many other regions are hovering around $70 per month, FairPoint says it will offer a limited-time promotional price to residents of $85 per month. The company did not say what the cost would be after the promotional period ends.
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading