Seattle will be the seventh home for Google Fiber Webpass.
The vendor will soon offer 1 Gbit/s service for $60 per month to tenants of a 40-story residential building, the Seattle Times first reported on Tuesday. Over the next year, Google Fiber plans to expand that footprint across 100 buildings in the city, it said.
Where in the World Is Google Fiber Webpass?
A map shows the growing number of regions where gigabit service is available: blue pins denote Google Fiber sites, green pins mark Webpass regions. (Source: Google Fiber Webpass)
Just as G.fast uses copper infrastructure to make DSL accelerate, Webpass speeds up existing Ethernet wiring by using radio. Google Fiber acquired Webpass almost exactly a year ago -- on June 22, 2016. At that time, Webpass had "tens of thousands of customers across five major markets in the U.S," wrote company founder and president Charles Barr on its website. Those regions included San Francisco; Oakland, Calif.; Emeryville, Calif.; Berkeley, Calif.; San Diego; Miami; Miami Beach, Fla.; Coral Gables, Fla.; Chicago; and Boston. In February, it extended into Denver.
While Google Fiber Inc. has sometimes garnered credit for jumpstarting fiber deployment, last year the company took a break from deploying fiber to new cities in favor of the less expensive Webpass alternative. Regardless of its approach, Google Fiber Webpass faces stiff competition in Seattle -- already home to tier one providers including Comcast and its 1G/bps download speeds and CenturyLink. Comcast, for example, uses DOCSIS 3.1, which simply requires a modem replacement.
"We have made significant technology and network deployments, which will allow us to deliver some of the fastest Internet speeds without our having to tear up streets or rewire a customer’s home, said Kyle McSlarrow, regional senior vice president for Comcast in Washington in a release late last year. "Together with other technology and network deployments since 2010, we will have invested $1 billion in Washington to upgrade our reliability and capacity, deploy new gigabit services and reach new residential and business customers."
Deutsche Telekom just signed an infrastructure project with the Gigabit Region Stuttgart, home to 174 municipalities and almost 3 million people, one of many partnerships the German operator has inked in its bid to grow revenue and business.
Mobile and cable operators represented half the managed SD-WAN services market share in this fast-growing space, while other broadband providers such as ISPs and satellite operators also appeared on Vertical Systems Group's ranking.
By slashing subscriber pricing by more than $30 billion annually, Low Earth Orbit satellite companies led by Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk as well as OneWeb have the potential to usher in a whole new era of broadband.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.
The MDU market continues to face fierce competition among service providers due to tech-savvy residents (i.e., millennials), demand from building owners and management companies, plus the favorable economics of bulk contracts. However, no MDUs are the same, so service providers must use multiple technologies and inconsistent deployment models, increasing operational complexity and rollout costs.
The MDU market itself is evolving as residents adopt smart-home technologies, generating rising demand for smart apartments with built-in connected thermostats, keyless entryways and doors, and video doorbells. This evolution presents both new challenges and opportunities. In other words, service providers must consider innovative service-delivery strategies to compete and win.
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Plus, special guest, Alice Lawson, Broadband and Cable Program Manager for the City of Seattle, will discuss Seattle’s B4B-Build For Broadband initiative that addresses best practices in planning for MDU telecommunication infrastructure.