AT&T, Chapel Hill Tie Fiber Knot

N.C. Town Green Greenlights ‘GigaPower’ Plan
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Chapel Hill has joined a growing group of towns and cities in North Carolina to clear the way for AT&T to build out its fiber-based, 1 Gbps-capable “U-verse with GigaPower” platform.

The town council authorized Chapel Hill to proceed with the ATT fiber broadband network agreement on May 28, and ratified it in June, according to AT&T.

Chapel Hill’s ratification of the plan follows similar agreements forged between AT&T and Raleigh, Cary, Winston-Salem, and Durham. AT&T has pending ratification with Carrboro, N.C. Time Warner Cable, which is deploying a 300 Mbps service as part of its ongoing all-digital “TWC Maxx” upgrades, is the incumbent cable operator in the region.

AT&T’s plan “outlines potential fiber deployments” to portions of Chapel Hill, and those specific areas have yet to be identified.

All of those agreements stem from AT&T’s discussions with the North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN), an initiative comprised of six cities, four universities, and local business leaders, that’s aimed at stimulating deployment of next-gen broadband networks in the state.

The Raleigh-Durham, Carrboro, Cary, and Chapel Hill are among the areas identified as possible expansion sites for Google Fiber, which is exploring a plan to bring its 1-Gig platform and video service bundles to an additional nine metro markets and up to 34 cities.

AT&T, meanwhile, has already begun to deploy GigaPower to pockets of Austin, Texas, starting off with symmetrical speeds of 300 Mbps, with an expected ramp to 1 Gbps later this year. AT&T has previously announced plans to roll GigaPower to Dallas this summer. In April, AT&T said it would hold GigaPower-related expansion talks with municipalities in at least 21 new major metros, including Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Kansas City and Los Angeles.