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With 5G on the horizon, many big names in the telecom industry are rushing to be the first to bring newer, more efficient technologies to customers for a good price. But what about fiber internet? After all, it was only a few years ago that providers like AT&T and Google were also racing to build fiber optic networks and deliver the blazing-fast speeds they’re known for.
For those waiting on a fiber internet option, here’s what you can expect from providers and where they plan to break ground next.
AT&T’s fiber network expansion is moving ahead of schedule since their 2015 DIRECTV acquisition. The company has already deployed fiber broadband service to 14.5 million customer locations, and recently announced that it would be adding another 3 million locations in 90 metro areas in 2021.
“Fiber is a durable solution and a superior technology to address the demands for broadband,” said CEO of AT&T Communications LLC, Jeffery McElfresh at a conference in March. “It delivers 1 gigabyte speeds, has low latency, is symmetrical for downlink and uplink demand and is easily upgradable to multi-gig with minimal investment as demand growth continues.”
AT&T Fiber availability
AT&T’s comprehensive coverage map can give you a look at every city where AT&T Fiber is available and some areas that’ll be available in the future. Here are a few major metropolitan areas where AT&T Fiber has limited availability so far:
Check out the AT&T Fiber availability map for a look at future serviceable locations coming soon.See AT&T Fiber internet plans
In 2016, Google Fiber was the name on the tip of everyone’s tongue and it was poised to forge the next great frontier in fiber internet service. At first the provider announced and executed ambitious plans to bring gig speeds to consumers at cable internet prices with “shallow trenching” technology. However, problems with the new Google Fiber 2.0 process forced Google to rollback service in areas like Louisville, Kentucky after a passive service deployment.
The Google Fiber team utilized a nanotrenching technique in Kentucky that allowed for faster and more affordable deployment. Unfortunately, that new method was to blame for many faulty installations around the Louisville area. For future expansions, Google Fiber has switched to a microtrenching technique which allows for a deeper and more secure install.
However, in 2016 Google placed a moratorium on all fiber optic projects going forward. It wasn’t until July 2021 that the company expanded to a new market in Des Moines, IA, which already had fiber infrastructure in place. Google recently announced it would open service in the Millcreek and South Salt Lake, Utah areas.
Google Fiber availability
Google Fiber is currently still operating in 20 cities including:
When Verizon rolled out its fiber optic broadband service in 2005, the provider was one of the very first to do so. Now, Verizon Fios is available in nine states across the U.S. and is one of the most reliable fiber-optic internet providers around. Fios has earned the best scores of any internet provider from the American Customer Satisfaction Index every year since 2016.
In terms of their current outlook, Verizon, like many other providers will double down on 5G expansion in new and existing markets along with the “continuation of the fiber build-out.”
Is Verizon Fios available in my area?
Internet service by Verizon is currently primarily available in major metropolitan areas in Northeastern states like New Jersey, Delaware and Rhode Island. Here are a few more cities you’ll find Verizon Fios service:
Spectrum Gig Internet
Although Spectrum provides speeds up to 940 Mbps in select areas, the provider does not currently offer what would be considered traditional fiber optic internet service. Spectrum uses a hybrid fiber-coaxial or HFC network to deliver high-speed broadband internet to 44 states in the U.S.
This kind of connection uses a fiber connection to establish most of the long-distance connection and then switches to cheaper coaxial cable lines to travel shorter distances within neighborhoods.
After raising the starting speeds in many Northeastern markets from 100 to 200 Mbps towards the end of 2019, it’s unclear whether or not Spectrum has plans to expand gig-speed services in 2021.
Spectrum gig-speed availability
Speeds up to 940 Mbps are available in select areas with Spectrum service, including the following major metropolitan areas:
Written by:Taylor Gadsden
Writer, Broadband & Wireless Content
Taylor is a veteran member of the Allconnect content team and has spearheaded a number of projects, including a data piece on the top fiber cities in the U.S. and a troubleshooting guide on how to connect your p… Read more
Edited by:Trey Paul
Editor, Head of Content
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