AT&T hypes fiber to the chosen few

by Steve Blum • , , ,

Assume the position.

The digital divide is getting deeper, thanks to diligent digging by incumbents. This week’s big announcement is that AT&T is looking at 100 cities as possible sites for gigabit service. Okay, it’s their GigaPower service which is designed for “up to” a gigabit. That doesn’t mean anyone will actually see it, but, hey, it lets them say giga twice in the same sentence, which makes it a really fast press release.

It doesn’t actually say that fiber-to-the-home builds are on the way, just “a network that includes fiber-optic technology”. If you’re wondering how you get a gigabit without fiber, well, you don’t. In Austin, GigaPower launched with speeds of 300 Mbps. Excuse me, up to 300 Mbps.

AT&T is making it clear that the investment will be made in the cities that offer them the best return, and then only to cherry-picked areas within those cities…

Similar to previously announced metro area selections in Austin and Dallas and advanced discussions in Raleigh-Durham and Winston-Salem, communities that have suitable network facilities, and show the strongest investment cases based on anticipated demand and the most receptive policies will influence these future selections and coverage maps within selected areas.

Eight cities in California on the list of candidates: Campbell, Cupertino, Los Angeles, Mountain View, Oakland, San Francisco, San Diego and San Jose. So while “high potential” areas in up to 8 of California’s 482 incorporated cities get upgrades of up to a gigabit, everyone else gets an up yours.