AT&T Launches ‘GigaPower’ To Parts Of N.C.

Time Warner Cable Is Area’s Incumbent Cable Operator
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AT&T said it has launched GigaPower, its fiber-based, 1-Gig U-verse platform, to select areas of North Carolina, including pockets of Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Winston-Salem.

The deployment, which stems from AT&T’s agreement with the North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN) initiative, will pit AT&T against Time Warner Cable, the incumbent cable operator in those areas. Raleigh is among the TWC markets on tap to receive “TWC Maxx” all-digital upgrades next year that are highlighted by a new 300 Mbps (downstream) DOCSIS 3.0 service that replaces its former 50-Meg offering, an all-digital TV lineup, an expanded VOD library, and access to an enhanced multi-room DVR.

Cary, Charlotte, Carrboro, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem are also among several markets Google Fiber is considering for a possible expansion that could encompass nine more metro markets.

According to market data provided on AT&T’s GigaPower site, the 1-Gig stand-alone service in parts of North Carolina sells for $120 per month, with a 12-month commitment. The fine print also shows that the service is saddled with an early termination fee of up to $180. The 1-Gig offering is also capped at 1 terabyte per month before customers are charged $10 for each additional 50 gigabytes consumed. AT&T’s double-play bundle with GigaPower starts at $150 per month, and the triple-play bundle starts at $180 per month.

AT&T has also launched GigaPower in parts of Austin and Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, and has committed to rolling it out in several other markets, including Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Miami, St. Louis, and San Antonio. AT&T has also committed to expand the GigaPower network to 2 million more customer locations upon approval of its proposed acquisition of DirecTV.

AT&T confirmed last month that it is not halting its fiber build outs if the FCC reclassifies broadband under Title II, but said it would have to pause consideration of further investments beyond its existing commitments. That conformation came soon after the the FCC asked AT&T to explain its fiber buildout plans following reports that AT&T chairman Randall Stephenson warned that common carrier regs could cause the telco to pull the plug on its fiber expansion plans.