AT&T can do gigabit when competing with Google Fiber

A challenge gets the incumbents beyond selling slow and expensive as long as they can. Both these networks will use fiber optics, and that plus fast wireless to reach everybody else would be very interesting.

Roger Cheng wrote for Cnet yesterday, AT&T attempts to out-Google Google in Austin fiber race: The telco says it will begin offering its “GigaPower” service to Austin and surrounding areas this year, with further expansion and a 1-gigabit connection planned in 2014. But how much will it cost?

The company said on late Monday that it would launch its “GigaPower” super-fast home Internet service on December 1 in Austin, a city that Google has said it would deploy its own speedy Google Fiber service.

GigaPower would start with speeds of 300 megabit per second, or roughly 40 times the speed of the average U.S. Internet home connection, before upgrading customers to 1 gigabit per second next year. Google also plans to offer its own 1-gigabit connection some time next year.

By moving first with its offering, AT&T is attempting to quell the Google buzz and drum up a little hype for itself. The initial launch will cover tens of thousands of customers, and AT&T said it has plans to expand throughout Austin and its surrounding neighborhoods, although it will be selective about it.

“We are opening up the portal to understand the interest that customers have,” said Lori Lee, a senior executive in AT&T’s home solutions unit. “They will influence where we will expand initially.”

AT&T was mum on price, likely reluctant to give away any market insights to competitors such as the cable providers. Lee would only say it would be a good value to customers.

It’s unclear whether AT&T will try to match Google Fiber on price. In Kansas City, where Google Fiber is already available, Internet service costs $70 a month, while a bundle with TV costs $120 a month.

Daniel Perez wrote for ubergizmo 18 January 2013, FCC Chairman Wants Gigabit Internet Across All 50 U.S. States By 2015,

FCC Chairman Julius Genachoski as … has issued a challenge that could bring gigabit internet by 2015.

Genachoski has issued the “Gigabit City Challenge” where he would like all 50 states in the U.S. have at least one gigabit community by 2015. He’s hoping this challenge will help spark more communities to adopt gigabit internet, which would result in the development of “next-generation applications and services that will drive economic growth and global competitiveness.”

According to the FCC, there are currently 42 communities across 14 states with fiber-based internet, which is certainly a good start. But 14 states out of 50 in total still isn’t even half of the country, which is staggering considering just how much people rely on the Internet these days.

-jsq

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