AT&T targets 100 cities for its fiber-based broadband service

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AT&T (NYSE: T) is doubling down on fiber to the home (FTTH)-based service, announcing an initiative to expand its fiber network to up to 100 of what it calls candidate cities and municipalities nationwide, including 21 new major metropolitan areas.

Some of these areas include Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco and San Jose.

The service provider said that its expanded build out will not impact its 2014 capital investment plans.

A key factor lies in its ability to get permitting approval from local communities and getting access to necessary rights of way (ROWs) to lay fiber and install related network electronics.

AT&T said it will weigh various factors such as access to network facilities, what communities show the strongest investment cases based on anticipated demand, and the most receptive policies.

"We're delivering advanced services that offer consumers and small businesses the ability to do more, faster, help communities create a new wave of innovation, and encourage economic development," said Lori Lee, senior executive vice president, AT&T Home Solutions, in a release. "We're interested in working with communities that appreciate the value of the most advanced technologies and are willing to encourage investment by offering solid investment cases and policies."

Earlier this month, AT&T said it was in advanced discussions with the North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN), a regional initiative focused on stimulating the deployment of next generation networks to North Carolina, to deliver its U-verse GigaPower offering to six communities, including Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh and Winston-Salem. This plan came after its initial move to launch the FTTH service in Austin, Texas, last year, a market where Google is also planning to roll out a similar service.

Austin has proven to be a strong FTTH market for AT&T. The telco said the GigaPower product has been so much of a hit that it plans to double the number of areas where it will provide the service. 

Google Fiber may have been the first to put a stake in the Austin FTTH market with a planned rollout in the city this year, but according to a recent report, the permitting process for necessary rights of way has delayed its progress in the city.

Similar to AT&T, Google announced an ambitious plan to explore the idea of bringing its 1 Gbps FTTH service to an additional 34 cities across nine U.S. metro areas.

Today, Google Fiber offers service in Kansas City, Mo., and is expanding into Provo, Utah, and Austin. The service provider also just signed a tentative franchise agreement with Portland, Ore., which still has to get city commissioner approval.

For more:
- see the release

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