Windstream has not officially unveiled any specific plans for delivering a 1 Gbps fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) service, but according to new CEO Tony Thomas, the company is ready to deliver it in various markets.
Like other telcos, Windstream has been laying fiber not only to business locations and along long-haul routes, but also increasingly into new and existing home subdivisions in the markets it serves.
"Fiber to the premises is a good opportunity for Windstream and many LECs," Thomas said in an interview with FierceTelecom. "Windstream has been deploying fiber as the principal means of building out subdivisions for over a decade so we stopped putting copper in the ground for new subdivisions build."
Thomas added that the priority will be to focus on markets where it can use existing fiber assets to deliver services to consumers.
"We're looking at areas where we have made fiber investments in the past and how we might leverage those fiber investments to provide 1 Gbps service to our customers," Thomas said. "We will launch a market in 2015--at least on a friendly basis if not a full launch--with 1Gbps service."
News of Windstream's interest in FTTP has been swirling since the end of 2014 when it announced it was going to launch an IPTV service in Lincoln, Neb., called Kinetic.
Upon announcing its Kinetic IPTV service in October, a JournalStar.com article revealed that the service provider has installed FTTP in select areas, including 500 Lincoln homes, and expects to do more as housing developments arise.
In the near term, Windstream is also moving ahead with plans to leverage its existing copper plant by deploying VDSL2 and bonding over a fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) architecture.
During the second quarter, Windstream will be launching VDSL2 and bonding across a number of its markets with an eye toward equipping all of the markets it serves with broadband technology.
"We're in the midst of launching VDSL2 and bonding big across a number of our markets in the second quarter and we'll move to enable all of our markets to be VDSL2 and bonded capable," Thomas said. "It will be the default Windstream platform of the future."
Thomas said that due to the upgrades it made with VDSL2, it will be able to more effectively deliver Kinetic service on a broader basis.
Lincoln may be the first market for IPTV, but the service provider is keen on bringing it to other territories over time.
"We're looking at Lincoln to be the first of many markets to launch the Kinetic TV service," Thomas said. "We're doing a friendly trial in Lincoln, but we're positioning this product to be one we can launch in several of our markets in the next several years and is an opportunity to leverage investments we have already made in our fiber network."
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