AT&T may be proceeding with its FTTH deployments, but it is finding that using G.fast is showing greater potential to further leverage its sizable copper network infrastructure to deliver higher speed broadband services.
Citing G.fast as a technology as a way to bring fiberlike speeds over existing copper lines that already exist in many locations, AT&T said the initial trials that are focused on multi-dwelling units (MDUs) are going well.
“We’re encouraged by the results of our G.fast trial taking place at another MDU in the Minneapolis area,” AT&T said in a statement.
While it would not name any specific markets yet, AT&T did confirm that it plans to offer G.fast-enabled services in more locations, particularly MDUs, throughout its 21 state wireline footprint this year.
Using G.fast to penetrate higher speed services in MDUs makes sense for AT&T.
AT&T told FierceTelecom in a previous interview that it estimates that 80% of the buildings in the United States currently don’t have fiber in them. Most of these locations currently have a mix of coax cabling and copper – two wired mediums that G.Fast can theoretically support up to 1 Gbps over very short distances.
Similar to earlier generations of DSL, AT&T says that G.fast works best at distances from 500-800 feet.
The service provider is hardly alone in its desire to leverage G.fast to susbscribers that reside in MDUs.
Fellow telco CenturyLink installed G.fast technology in 44 MDUs in Platteville, Wisconsin. Using a mix of existing copper and coax cable the service provider is delivering up to 500/50 Mbps to nearly 800 apartments in Platteville.
Meanwhile, Windstream began a field trial of G.fast targeting MDUs in Lincoln, Nebraska, with the aim of leveraging existing copper to deliver up to 1 Gbps speeds to customers. Similar to CenturyLink and AT&T, Windstream will focus on delivering G.fast mainly to MDUs.