AT&T extends multi-gig coverage, names 7 new fiber markets

AT&T revealed plans to light up new fiber markets in seven cities across three states by the end of the year, as it expanded the reach of its new multi-gig broadband plans to parts of its entire 100-metro area footprint.

The operator originally launched its 2-gig and 5-gig fiber internet plans in January, rolling them out to around 5.2 million customer locations in more than 70 cities. Its latest move means the services are now available to a total of 7+ million customer locations. All told, nearly 50% of the operator’s 16 million-location fiber footprint can now tap into multi-gig speeds.

Expansion of its multi-gig capabilities follows Frontier Communications’ launch of network-wide 2-gig service in February. Other major players, including Verizon and Ziply Fiber, have only debuted multi-gig capabilities in select markets.

AT&T said it will continue to enable multi-gig speeds for customers in its existing fiber footprint, but noted it also plans to expand to seven additional metro markets before the end of the year. These will be in Texas, Oklahoma and Ohio.

An operator representative told Fierce the cities will include Abilene, Victoria, Tyler, Longview and Wichita Falls, Texas; Lawton, Oklahoma; and Youngstown, Ohio. These had a collective population of more than 629,000 as of April 2020, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

The operator previously outlined a plan to increase its fiber footprint to 30 million locations by end-2025. AT&T passed 2.6 million new locations in 2021, but did not provide a target for new deployments for 2022.

Fiber fray

However, AT&T isn’t the only fiber player to set its sights on markets in Texas and Oklahoma.

Dobson Fiber previously announced plans to expand to a number of cities in Oklahoma, including Lawton. And just this week Bluepeak received approval for its own build in Lawton, which aims to deliver service to 40,000 locations there. It said work in the city will start within the next 90 days.

Meanwhile, MetroNet and Vexus Fiber, which recently announced plans to merge, both unveiled plans last year to deploy fiber in Tyler. MetroNet said it began construction in the city in October. Vexus flagged Wichita Falls as another target in early 2021, planning to deliver service to 19,000 locations there by the end of the year.

Cable One’s Sparklight brand announced plans in July to deliver fiber to Victoria, with construction of its network there projected to be complete by mid-2023. Sparklight already offers fiber service in Longview, having connected its first customers there in February 2021.

Consolidated Communications and Ezee Fiber have also set their sights on expansion of their respective fiber footprints in Texas, though have not specified markets.


This story has been updated to clarify AT&T's multi-gig speeds are available to a total of 7 million locations, not an additional 7 million.