Ting mulls more 1 Gbps launches, eyes areas bypassed by Google Fiber

After chalking up two 1-Gigabit deployments in Charlottesville, Va., and Westminster, Md., earlier this year, Toronto-based Ting is taking a hard look at which U.S. cities will be next for the service.

According to a story by the Triangle Business Journal, the Triangle area of North Carolina is one market that Ting is considering, especially cities that Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) is bypassing with its 1-Gig offering.

During last week's second-quarter earnings call, Elliott Noss, CEO of Ting parent company Tucows, said that Ting is currently evaluating markets for the next wave of 1-Gig launches.

"We are now working through the pipeline of new cities and towns for 2016," said Noss, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. "We would guess that we will be in five or six new markets next year."

In addition to Google Fiber, AT&T (NYSE: T) has rolled out its "GigaPower" fiber service to several cities in North Carolina.

In the Triangle Business Journal story, Noss acknowledged that since fiber awareness was high in the Triangle area, "it would make sense that we would probably come visit some folks here," but he didn't provide a definitive answer. Google Fiber's decision to bypass some of the smaller towns and cities in the area could be a sweet spot for Ting to fill in.

Two years ago, Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) forked out $300 million to buy Charlotte-based DukeNet primarily for its business services offerings.  DukeNet was a regional fiber-optic network company that served areas of North Carolina and South Carolina.

RST Fiber also offers a fiber-based service in its home state of North Carolina, but the town of Wake Forest pulled out of its partnership with RST.  Noss told the Triangle Business Journal that Ting wasn't interested in acquiring fiber assets from RST, but the company is laying the ground work for more 1-Gig deployments next year.

"Accordingly some of our choices maybe in the nature of experiments and that experimentation would take place again around some of our core assumptions," Noss said on the earnings call. "At this point we are quite comfortable that Ting Internet has real material long term upside potential and importantly well bounded downside risk."

For more:
- the Triangle Business Journal has this article
- FierceInstaller has this article

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