Winston-Salem OKs AT&T’s 1-Gig Plan

AT&T said city officials in Winston-Salem, N.C., have ratified an agreement that will pave the way for the telco to roll out its 1-Gbps-capable, fiber-based U-verse with GigaPower service.

The ratification comes about two months after AT&T announced it was in “advanced discussions” with the North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN) to deploy its fiber-based U-verse with GigaPower platform to parts of the Triangle and Piedmont Triad regions – areas that have also drawn attention from Google Fiber. NCNGN is an initiative comprised of six cities, four universities, and local business leaders, that’s aimed at stimulating deployemtn of next-gen broadband networks in the state.

AT&T said similar GigaPower plans tied to the NCNGN initiative are pending ratification in five other North Carolina areas – Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh.

AT&T plans to be working on the build in Winston-Salem "within a few weeks," and will be sharing more detail on rollout plans closer to the launch, an AT&T spokeswoman said via email.

AT&T has already begun to deploy GigaPower services in pockets 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 will hold GigaPower-related expansion talks with municipalities in at least 21 new major metros, including Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Kansas City and Los Angeles.

“We’re thrilled that Winston-Salem will be in the next round of cities for AT&T’s rollout of its U-verse with GigaPower,” said Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines, in a statement. “Our City has a well-deserved reputation as a technology and medical leader and a network of this magnitude will help take the work underway in both those areas to new levels of innovation and achievement.”

“We’ve already received great input from North Carolinians eager for the fastest available speeds,” added Venessa Harrison, president, AT&T-North Carolina. “This ultra-fast fiber build will help foster innovation, enhance education, and encourage growth.”