Google Fiber Gets Even More Disruptive, Adds Wireless Wallop with Webpass

Erik Keith - Principal Analyst, Fixed Access Infrastructure

Erik Keith – Principal Analyst, Fixed Access Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • The acquisition of Webpass showcases Google Fiber’s strategic focus on fiber-centric service expansion efforts in high-density areas, supplemented by wireless broadband technology which dramatically expands Google Fiber’s addressable market and its status as a broader-scale, highly disruptive threat to incumbent operators.
  • Webpass lacks substantial customer traction – only 20,000 subscribers – especially for a company in business for 13 years. Nevertheless, Google Fiber’s acquisition of Webpass is more about future promise and potential than current power and presence.

Google Fiber’s recently announced acquisition of Webpass, which we covered here, is a clarion call signaling the company’s intentions of becoming an even more disruptive force in the U.S. broadband and TV/video/multiplay market. While there are roughly a dozen operators in the U.S. that offer world-class fixed broadband services – specifically, Gigabit access speeds – a massive number of U.S. consumers and business customers are still underserved by broadband, in terms of service speeds (i.e., well under the FCC’s definition of 25 Mbps), lack of competition or both. To this end, and expanding on its non-traditional approach to broadband network and service buildouts, Google Fiber has acquired Webpass, a wireless broadband service provider with fiber assets that has an established network and customer bases in the San Francisco Bay, San Diego, Chicago, Miami and Boston metros. Read more of this post

For ADTRAN, 200 Reasons Why Gigabit Access Is Relevant

Erik Keith

Erik Keith

Summary Bullets:

  • ADTRAN’s August 2015 announcement highlighting its more than 200 networks supporting Gigabit access speeds demonstrates the growing relevance, and demand, for ultra-broadband fixed access services, despite ongoing skepticism about the need for Gigabit-speed connections.
  • With ADTRAN’s FTTH solutions enabling Gigabit connectivity – primarily for telcos but also for several cable operators – operators will become increasingly compelled to upgrade their networks to respond to competitive pressures, driving additional opportunities for networking equipment vendors.

ADTRAN, while certainly not the largest or most aggressive telecom equipment vendor in the market, has still garnered the rather notable superlative of being the first vendor to claim enabling more than 200 customer networks that offer Gigabit access speeds. While many of ADTRAN’s Gigabit customers are smaller telcos and cable companies in the unique North American market (where there are over 1,200 Tier 2 and Tier 3 service providers), this does not diminish the fact that ADTRAN’s 200-plus Gigabit-enabled communities/networks benchmark is quite an achievement. Read more of this post