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AT&T Continues to Expand GigaPower

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Jun. 1 2016, Updated 12:06 p.m. ET

AT&T GigaPower service

AT&T (T) has been boosting its Internet proposition with AT&T GigaPower. According to a press release by the company, it plans “to nearly double the availability of AT&T GigaPower in Southern Dallas in the next 12 months.” Regarding the current availability of GigaPower, the press release mentioned that GigaPower is present in more than 1.6 million locations across 22 of the largest metro areas in the country.

AT&T has planned significant expansion of the service to reach a minimum of 56 metro areas. Moreover, the company is planning “to reach more than 14 million residential and commercial locations with fiber.”

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AT&T GigaPower service

AT&T GigaPower is a fiber-to-the-premises service. It’s similar to Verizon Communications’ (VZ) Fios. The GigaPower service is capable of providing Internet speeds of a maximum of 1 Gbps (gigabits per second), subject to conditions. In the case of Fios, the maximum symmetrical Internet speed is 500 Mbps (megabits per second).

These 100% fiber-based services provide telecom (telecommunications) players the ability to compete effectively with cable players.

Per the Netflix ISP Speed Index, which takes into account the prime-time speeds witnessed by users, Verizon Communications’ Fios was the fastest in the index among large US ISPs (Internet service providers) in April 2016. Bright House Networks, Cox Communications, and Cablevision Systems (CVC), and Optimum followed it. Charter Communications (CHTR), Comcast (CMCSA), and Time Warner Cable (TWC) held the fifth, sixth, and seventh ranks, respectively, in this index. Note that the merger of Charter Communications, Bright House Networks, and Time Warner Cable was completed on May 18, 2016.

For diversified exposure to US telecom players, you may consider investing in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY). The ETF held a total of ~2.7% of its portfolio in AT&T, Verizon Communications, CenturyLink (CTL), Level 3 Communications (LVLT), and Frontier Communications (FTR) at the end of April 2016.

In the next part of this series, we’ll look at the expansion of AT&T’s 4G LTE in Mexico.

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