The battle to expand residential gigabit Internet across the U.S. is on. Battling it out with AT&T, Comcast, and Google Fiber, Cox Communications recently announced gigabit speeds were now available in parts of Omaha, Nebraska and Las Vegas. The two cities were part of Cox's original gigabit plans that the company announced in May 2014.
In addition to the two new markets, Cox's G1gablast service is available in areas of Phoenix, Arizona and Irvine, California. The company says G1gablast will reach Arkansas, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Oklahoma and Virginia this summer. The company plans to have gigabit residential service available in all of its markets by the end of 2016.
That's good news if you're a Cox subscriber, but not that many people are. Cox services about 6 million customers across 13 states. Nevertheless, Cox is currently in more markets than Google Fiber, and has more aggressive roll out plans than AT&T currently does with GigaPower.
Plans are one thing, however, and reality is another. Google Fiber also has big roll out plans, but so far has only managed to flip the switch in Provo, Utah, Kansas City, and Austin, TX. Google has announced Fiber service for another five cities and is considering another four.
AT&T, meanwhile, offers GigaPower service in 12 metro areas nationwide and has plans for another six. The company is also considering another seven regions for gigabit service.
The impact on you at home: Gigabit Internet is rolling out the U.S., but it's happening slowly and in a very piecemeal fashion thanks to mostly smaller providers rolling out service. That may change soon, however, as Comcast recently announced a new modem that uses DOCSIS 3.1 technology. The nation's largest cable company says the new hardware can deliver gigabit speeds to nearly all Xfinity customers nationwide. Comcast also recently announced two-gigabit residential Internet service for select markets such as Atlanta and Nashville. In April, Comcast said it would bring two-gigabit service to the San Francisco Bay Area.