Cox lays challenge to AT&T's U-verse empire with 1 Gig rollout in Louisiana

Cox Communications is gearing up to bring its 1 Gbps G1GABLAST service to residential customers in Louisiana, setting another competitive challenge to AT&T (NYSE: T), which has yet to target the state with its own FTTH service.

One of the initial cities that will get the service is Zachary, La., Cox said during an event held by Americana Traditional Neighborhood Development.

Besides the Americana subdivision in Zachary, Cox's gigabit Internet service is being made available at the Lexi Falls subdivision in Broussard and the Bella Ridge/Cottonwood Creek apartments in Harahan, just outside of New Orleans. The cable MSO plans to equip additional properties with gigabit services in the near future.

Already delivering 1 Gbps services to businesses for over 10 years, Cox plans to offer residential gigabit speeds in all of its markets by the end of next year. To date, Cox has launched G1GABLAST service in parts of Phoenix, Ariz., Orange County, Calif., Las Vegas and Omaha. 

While 1 Gbps is Cox's focus to differentiate its service, the cable MSO is making moves to enhance its current generation of DOCSIS-based speed tiers delivered under its Ultimate Internet package brand. The service provider said it will increase their speeds from 150 Mbps to over 200 Mbps.

AT&T has not cited Louisiana as one of its 1 Gbps FTTH targets, but could target the state at some point in the future. Between 2012-2014, the service provider invested $1 billion in the state's wireless and wireline networks. Part of that process included wiring 54 multi-tenant office buildings in Louisiana as part of its fiber to the building (FTTB) drive, extending fiber-based services to over 2,600 business customer locations in the state. 

The service provider also agreed to extend 1 Gbps FTTH service to an additional 11.7 million homes as one of the conditions of its agreement with the FCC to complete its acquisition of DirecTV, but it has not revealed where those investments would take place. 

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