Friday, January 30, 2009

AT&T And Verizon FTTH On The Same Block?

From Things get really weird down in Texas...

Verizon has started laying fiber in some neighborhoods that are already served by AT&T U-Verse. The select broadband incursions may evolve into a broader battle, depending on who you ask. Some believe any AT&T or Verizon direct competition could remain limited to very select greenfield developments in just a handful of Texas areas. Others think that once Verizon gets a taste of greenfield profits, they'll expand the idea into states like California.

Light Reading editor Phil Harvey e-mails me to note they've taken photographs of the only town in the U.S. where you can see AT&T and Verizon FTTH gear on the same block. AT&T forgoes VDSL/FTTN for FTTH in some developments, though they cap the bandwidth delivered back to the same max speed of regular VDSL U-Verse (up to 18Mbps, at least until AT&T perfects channel bonding).

That would seemingly give Verizon, whose top speed is 50Mbps, the advantage in any head to head battle. At least in terms of speed -- AT&T could offer more alluring bundles. In many high-end greenfield developments though, price isn't going to be as important as just getting the best product. Most budget-minded consumers in lower ROI regions will probably never have to worry about AT&T and Verizon fighting to offer them FTTH.

The photos are from a new Frisco, Texas development, and (probably to AT&T and Verizon's chagrin) show both carrier's cabinets all up close and personal like -- both inside and out. Despite the boxes being so close, they're still serving different upscale developments. For now, anyway. Verizon will be lighting up FiOS in AT&T areas over the next few months -- the first time the two giants will go head to head.