AT&T (NYSE: T) has invested over $3 billion in its Illinois wireline and wireless networks between 2013 and 2015, expanding the availability of its Gigapower service and LTE wireless services to more residential and business customers.
A key focus of growth with Gigapower is to challenge Comcast in Chicago and other nearby communities.
Initially, AT&T launched Gigapower in Elgin, Oswego, Plainfield, Skokie, Yorkville and surrounding communities located throughout the Chicago metro area.
By making its 1 Gbps service available in the Chicago area, AT&T will be able to more effectively battle Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), which recently began trials of its 1 Gbps service in Atlanta that will leverage its existing HFC-based network. It's likely that the cable MSO will eventually bring the same 1 Gbps service to Illinois.
But serving residential customers with fiber-based broadband is just one part of its GigaPower strategy. By leveraging the same GPON infrastructure it uses for the residential market, AT&T is extending the 1 Gbps FTTP service option to businesses located in its Fiber Ready buildings across multiple markets.
After reaching its goal to bring fiber bring fiber to 1 million business locations in its wireline territory, the service provider previously told FierceTelecom that the next priorities for FTTP in the business segment growth will be driven by its on-demand Ethernet service and GPON-based products.
Comcast is only one competitor that AT&T will likely face in Illinois' business market. It could potentially be challenged by Google Fiber, which announced it will begin selling internet service to businesses in Charlotte, North Carolina. Although Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) has not announced Illinois yet, the service provider has cited Chicago as a potential target.
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AT&T pre-empts Comcast 2 Gbps threat by launching 1-Gig service in Chicago suburbs