Durham Says Yes To AT&T’s GigaPower

City Ratifies Agreement For Telco's 1-Gig-Capable Fiber Network
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Following recent approval from Winston-Salem, N.C., city officials for Durham have ratified an agreement that gives AT&T the green light to deploy its 1-Gbps-capable, fiber-based U-verse with GigaPower platform.

Like the earlier deal with Winston-Salem, the Durham agreement stems 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.

AT&T said the approved plan covers “potential fiber deployments” to businesses and residential areas in “parts” of Durham, which is also served by incumbent cable operator Time Warner Cable, but has not elaborated on which areas will be covered. AT&T also has not announced a specific timeline for its N.C.-area rollouts, but noted that, like its plan for Winston-Salem, the build in Durham will get underway “within a few weeks," and will reveal more detailed rollout plans later.

AT&T has similar ratifications pending in four other North Carolina areas: Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill and Raleigh.

The Raleigh-Durham area is also a potential expansion hub 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 noted that it invested more than $1.6 billion in its North Carolina wireless and wireline networks between 2011 and 2013, and employs more than 6,800 people across the state.

The telco has already begun to deploy GigaPower in parts of Austin, Texas, starting off with symmetrical speeds of 300 Mbps, with an expected ramp to 1 Gbps by mid-2014. 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.