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AT&T Promises 2 Million More Gigabit Locations

TMCnet Feature

June 04, 2014

AT&T Promises 2 Million More Gigabit Locations

By Gary Kim
Contributing Editor

AT&T (News - Alert) announced in April 2014 that it could build out “Gigapower” 1-Gbps connections in as many as 25 cities, depending on discussions with local authorities and projections of demand.

AT&T now says approval of the deal will include deploying two million additional 1-Gbps high speed connections, beyond what it earlier had announced, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It is unclear how the promise of two million incremental gigabit locations passed matches with what AT&T might have planned earlier, as part of its Gigapower rollout.

AT&T also has said its deal to buy DirecTV (News - Alert) will lead to a high speed access upgrade of 15 million mostly-rural high speed access lines, above and beyond what AT&T already had planned as part of its Project VIP initiative, announced in 2012.

Every communications or cable TV firm proposing a major acquisition routinely promises end user value or other concessions when such acquisitions must be approved by the Federal Communications Commission.

Investing in higher speed Internet access to 15 million mostly-rural locations, as well as adding two million new gigabit access locations, are examples.

Both Comcast (News - Alert) and AT&T, for example, also have promised to abide by the original network neutrality rules that mandate “best effort only” consumer Internet access, for a period of years.

In 2012 AT&T said it would expand its U-verse TV, Internet and VoIP phone service to 33 million homes and increase the speeds of its Internet product to up to 75 Mbps, with some locations being supplied faster speeds.

Project VIP includes expanding AT&T's 4G Long Term Evolution network to cover 300 million people by the end of 2014, up from its original goal of 250 million people by the end of 2013.

But AT&T also promised one million additional business customer locations served by fiber, covering 50 percent of multi-tenant office buildings in its wireline service area by the end of 2015.

AT&T also pledged to extend fixed line high speed access service and high-speed IP Internet access using the mobile network to 99 percent of its customer locations.

The U-verse platform would reach 57 million homes, about 75 percent of its total customer locations by the end of 2015.

Today, AT&T supplies 16.5 million homes and businesses with fixed broadband connections.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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