AT&T brings 1 Gbps business service to Atlanta, faces off with Comcast Business, Level 3

AT&T (NYSE: T) has named Atlanta as the newest city that will be getting its fiber-to-the-business (FTTB) service as part of the fiber-ready building program under its Project VIP initiative.

Focused on serving multi-tenant office buildings, AT&T will immediately provide 300 Mbps speeds with future plans to reach up to 1 Gbps without a service contract. Business Fiber service, which was launched in September, will provide up to 1 Gbps services to buildings that have been equipped with fiber in 2015.

Atlanta joins 14 other markets in other key states, including California, Florida, Missouri, Ohio and Texas that AT&T has already equipped with fiber.

One of the key drivers in extending the AT&T Business Fiber product into more markets it serves like Atlanta is to assist businesses with their migration to the cloud, disaster recovery and security services.

Tom Hughes, vice president, Small Business Project Management, AT&T, who is leading up the FTTB project, told FierceTelecom in an earlier interview that the demand for bandwidth is what's driving the move to create a FTTB platform that can ultimately deliver up to 1 Gbps speeds.

"More and more applications are moving to the cloud," Hughes said. "Customers that have multiple office locations will use the higher bandwidth for things like videoconferencing across their offices for transporting large data files over the Internet between their offices."

FTTB has been a key driver for AT&T. Under the FTTB portion of its Project VIP program, the service provider has set a goal to reach 1 million business customer locations with fiber.

Despite the potential the service will bring, AT&T will face some interesting competition in the Atlanta market from not only one of its key cable competitors, Comcast Business (NASDAQ: CMCSA), but also Level 3 Communications, which recently completed its acquisition of tw telecom.

Earlier this month, Comcast Business announced plans to offer 10 Gbps services to area businesses in Atlanta. Similar to AT&T, the service provider will deliver 10 Gbps connectivity to businesses in midtown Atlanta, Vinings, Norcross, Duluth and Alpharetta. In addition, Comcast Business' fiber network will also be brought into a number of multi-tenant office buildings, including the Atlanta Galleria Office Park.

Level 3 has also been making waves in Atlanta, announcing in September that would build fiber to 300 additional area buildings and nearly 265 metro route miles in the greater Atlanta area. This build will benefit potentially 600 area businesses.

For more:
- see the release

On the hot seat: AT&T's Hughes on FTTB: We're making steady progress

Related articles:
AT&T to extend 1 Gig service to more fiber-enabled business customers
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Comcast to challenge AT&T, Cox Business with 10 Gig service in Atlanta
Level 3's Georgia expansion challenges AT&T, adds 300 on-net buildings