Welcome to the age of the gigabit Internet. In a move that apparently responds to Google's pioneering efforts, AT&T announced on Tuesday more details about its deployment of a totally fiber-optic network in Austin, Texas that will offer speeds up to a gigabit a second.
The new service, called AT&T U-verse with GigaPower, will be available in December in that city. Dave Nichols, president of AT&T Texas, said in a statement that the all-fiber U-verse service is "building the foundation for a new wave of innovation for Austin's consumers, businesses, and civic and educational institutions." The service will include TV channels as well as Internet and, assumedly, phone service.
Initially, the GigaPower service will be offered to tens of thousands of customers in the Austin metropolitan area, with expansion to other areas in the Austin vicinity beginning next year. AT&T has set up a Web page for Austin consumers and business owners to vote on which neighborhoods should receive the service first.
HD Movie < Two Minutes
AT&T says the service will allow an HD movie to be downloaded in less than two minutes. The initial rollout will feature speeds of 300 Mbps up and downstream, which would be the fastest available from any Austin broadband provider. Customers of the 300 Mbps service will be upgraded to 1 Gbps when it is available by the middle of next year, at no additional cost. No details on pricing have yet been released.
Also available will be what AT&T describes as "cutting-edge TV services," including its Total Home DVR, with an increased but unspecified number of HD streams that can be recorded, multiple shows that can be watched simultaneously, and greater DVR storage . Additionally, Wi-Fi speeds emanating from the GigaPower router will be faster, although top speeds have not yet been announced. Customers will also be able to schedule recordings and to watch TV shows on smartphones, tablets, and PCs.
Time Warner: Nope
AT&T said that it plans to invest something in the neighborhood of $20 billion next year and again in 2015 to expand its broadband networks, but it did not indicate how much of that will be spent on the gigabit service.
Earlier this year, Google announced that it was bringing gigabit Internet to Austin by the middle of next year. It has already wired parts of Kansas City, Missouri with its Google Fiber, and Provo, Utah is next on the list. A few days after Google's April announcement about Austin, AT&T announced it would also offer gigabit service in that city, and today's announcement provides more details. AT&T's will be rolling out first, although both gigabit services will become available in that city at about the same time in mid-2014.
AT&T and Google appear to be largely by themselves in this race. Last year, Verizon said that it was not expecting to expand on its high-speed FIOS service and, in February, a Time Warner cable executive disputed the idea that customers really want gigabit speeds.
Posted: 2013-10-01 @ 6:16pm PT
That is going to be awesome is the price going to be the same as the Kansas market? I read a post stating that it was 70.00 a month? Is that for business as well? Starting service speeds will be 300 up and down? Nice!!!