Frontier Communications is providing the Triangle’s first taste of gigabit Internet speeds – some 100 times faster than cable connections – at several Durham and Research Triangle Park locations.

“Guess what, Durham is first,” said Dennis Bloss, North Carolina general manager for Frontier. The gigabit offering also is the first provided by Frontier, a growing provider of communications services across more than 20 states.

AT&T is coming, and look for Google Fiber is reviewing the Triangle for service. A decision could be made in December. But for now, Frontier is the only game in the Triangle.

Capitol Broadcasting’s American Tobacco Historic District is one of the first gigabit locations.

But prices are not cheap. One-gigabit residential service will cost $219 a month but there is no installation fee and a long-term contract is not required, Bloss explained.

Frontier also offers related services such as satellite TV through a partnership with DISH, but the company does not provide a full-fledged TV service like AT&T’s U-Verse or Time Warner Cable.

Jim Goodmon, CEO of Capitol, said his firm plans to use the Frontier fiber network to drive more robust Wi-Fi service at the Durham Bulls stadium.

“This is all about speed and keeping the Bulls on the cutting edge of technology,” Goodmon said in an interview.

The Bulls plan to support 5,000 simultaneous connections at the Park.

Frontier will provide Wi-Fi at gigabit speeds and enable fans to buy refreshments, watch video and order tickets without ever leaving their seats, Goodmon said.

“We needed more capacity for our network,” Goodmon said. “I’m very excited about it.”

Other locations in the Durham area include:

Carolina Arbors, Durham City Center, Research Triangle Park – Park Center Development, One Park Center, and Jordan at Southpoint. 

The RTP Park Center project involves a building that is being retrofitted to support fiber and provide gigabit access to all clients, Bloss said. RTP is rebuilding a 100-acre area as part of its recently launched long-term redevelopment plan. 

Bloss said in an interview that the project being directed by the RTP Foundation is one of the major reasons why Frontier chose the Durham area for its first fiber project.

“Frontier has invested more than $80 million to upgrade and enhance our North Carolina network over the last few years. Our newest upgrade to our fiber network offers speeds up to 50 times faster than cable to business and residential customers in Durham,” Chairman and CEO Maggie Wilderotter said in an announcement. “Frontier’s vast fiber network already plays a critical role in this community, offering speeds up to 25 Mbps to more than 70 percent of households we serve in Durham. We are leveraging that robust network to offer blazing fast speeds up to 1Gig.”

Wilderotter called gigabit access “blazing fast.”

More fiber network upgrades are coming, she added.

Frontier acquired Verizon’s landline communications service in Durham and Durham County in 2010.

“This is our first [market],” Wilderotter noted and said that fast access would be made available widely. The company won’t “cherry pick,” she said.

(Capitol Broadcasting is the parent of WRAL TechWire.)