AT&T Beats Google, Launches Ultra-Fast Fiber Network In Austin
AT&T has beat Google to the punch and is launching its high-speed fiber network in Austin, with discounts for customers who sign up for targeted ads.
AT&T rolled out its U-Verse gigabit fiber-to-the-home service in four Austin neighborhoods on Wednesday, offering customers a price of just $70 per month if they agree to let the telecom giant spy on their Internet searches and Web browsing habits to deliver targeted ads.
Customers who sign up to pay the lower rate must agree to participate in AT&T Internet Preferences program, which allows AT&T to use “web browsing information, like the search terms you enter and the Web pages you visit, to provide you relevant offers and ads tailored to your interests.”
The move means that AT&T has honored its pledge to beat Google to the punch in delivering a high-speed fiber network to Austin by the end of the year. Google has said it will launch its Austin Fiber network in mid-2014.
AT&T says its standard U-Verse with GigaPower service will cost $99 per month, and will initially offer speeds of up to 300 Mbps – 20 times faster than what most Austin residents currently have. Customers who sign up now will be automatically upgraded to the gigabit service next year at no extra cost. U-Verse TV will be offered for an additional $50 per month.
The premier version of the service also includes Internet speeds up to 300 Mbps, but is being offered at a discounted price of $70 per month (waiving equipment, installation and activation fees) for customers who agree to sign up for AT&T’s Internet Preferences program. Customers who add U-verse TV will receive free HBO and HBO GO for 36 months, and HD service for $120 per month with qualifying TV services.
“Our all-fiber network enables U-verse with GigaPower to give Austinites the fastest speeds available to consumers in the city,” said Dahna Hull, AT&T’s vice president and general manager for Austin.
AT&T said its GigaPower service will have a one-terabyte data cap with overage fees of $10 for each additional 50GB, up to an additional $30 per month.
As with Google Fiber, Austin residents will be able to vote on whether or not they want to bring the high-speed service to their neighborhoods.