Google Fiber looks to challenge AT&T, Consolidated in Merriam, Kan.

Google Fiber (Nasdaq: GOOG) has named Merriam, Kan., as its latest FTTP target--its fifteenth Kansas City-area community where it plans deliver 1 Gbps-capable broadband service to residential customers.

The service provider gave no details on when it would launch or what the pricing structure or installation process would be.

"We want to hook up Merriam residents as soon as possible, but we still need to plan our network and start construction before we can start installations," said Rachel Hack, Google Fiber community manager, in a blog post. "We'll let you know when we're ready to open signups here on our blog and via social media."

In Merriam, Google Fiber will face off against three strong competitors, including two telcos and one cable operator: AT&T (NYSE: T) and Consolidated Communications (Nasdaq: CNSL), and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC).

By comparison, Consolidated, which entered the Kansas City-area market via its acquisition of SureWest, can currently offer speeds of up to 50-100 Mbps over its FTTP and HFC-based networks, while AT&T can only offer 10-25 Mbps. On a slightly higher scale, Time Warner Cable can offer speeds of 100 Mbps and beyond.

Bob Currey, CEO of Consolidated, acknowledged during the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in May that Google Fiber could overlap them in certain areas, and is concerned that the Internet search engine giant's network service is a real threat today.

He added that his company's HFC and FTTP networks could support 50 and 100 Mbps if customers wanted those speeds, but thus far has not seen a major demand for those speeds yet.

For more:
- see this blog post

Special report: Google Fiber, AT&T, CenturyLink drive the 1 Gbps game

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