AT&T incites broadband challenge against Comcast with Miami-area 1 Gbps launch

AT&T (NYSE: T) has made the southeast Florida cities of Fort Lauderdale, Hialeah, Hollywood, Miami and surrounding communities the next targets for its 1 Gbps FTTP service, putting it in direct competition with Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) which will offer an even higher speed 2 Gbps service.

Florida is a key area expansion area for AT&T's 1 Gbps service.  

The telco will have to face off with Comcast, which announced in April it will be offering its 2 Gbps service to 1.3 million customers in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Jacksonville.

The launch in the Florida market comes only days after AT&T released news of further deployments in the Dallas-Ft. Worth and Chicago areas. Similar to Chicago, AT&T will compete head-to-head with Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) for both Internet and pay-TV subscribers with its U-verse with Gigapower service. It also rolled out service in the Charlotte, N.C., area earlier this month.

This latest expansion brings the number of cities where AT&T offers its GigaPower service to 14, with four more cities slated to receive the service. Ultimately, AT&T plans to expand its 100 percent fiber network in up to 25 markets.

Similar to other recent launches, U-verse subscribers will have a choice of three types of bundled services, along with locked-in price guarantees ranging from one to two years depending on the service tier they choose.

Gigapower has already launched in other parts of the Dallas-Ft. Worth market including Allen, Arlington, Dallas, Euless, Fairview, Fort Worth, Granbury, Highland Park, Irving, McKinney, North Richland Hills, University Park, Weatherford and Willow Park, Texas.

Given the investment it takes to roll out a FTTP network, AT&T is citing the success of the ongoing buildout as a way to justify building out GigaPower to more markets in its territory. In addition, the service provider has committed to expanding U-verse with GigaPower to another 2 million customer locations once its merger with DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) is approved.

On the technical side, the service provider's planned virtualized GPON strategy could also reduce the cost and complexity of rolling out FTTP services. The provider is virtualizing the GPON optical network terminals (ONTs) that it deploys in each of its central offices when rolling out GigaPower.

 For more:
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