AT&T Wants To Roll Out High-Speed Fiber Internet Network In 100 Cities
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
The information super highway could soon get a lot faster. AT&T announced on Tuesday that it will bring high-speed fiber Internet networks to as many as 100 cities in 21 metro regions throughout the United States. This move could put the telecommunications giant in a head-to-head battle with Google, which has also been rolling out its own fiber-based network.
AT&T’s U-verse with GigaPower has been rolled out in key markets including Austin, where consumers have been offered 300Mbps (megabits per second) download and upload speeds – and with the promise of free upgrades to speeds up to 1Gbps in 2014.
The plans include an Internet only option for $70 per month that would require no home phone service, and includes free installation and equipment; to a double play option for $120 with HDTV-enabled TV including HBO. There is even a triple play offering with the Internet, TV and phone with unlimited voice for $150 per month.
AT&T is now reportedly working in local markets to provide this service across the country. In addition to Austin, U-verse with GigaPower has already been introduced in Dallas and the telecommunications company is advanced discussions in Raleigh-Durham and Winston-Salem.
According to AT&T’s statement, these are “communities that have suitable network facilities, and show the strongest investment cases based on anticipated demand and the most receptive policies will influence these future selections and coverage maps within selected areas. This initiative continues AT&T’s ongoing commitment to economic development in these communities, bringing jobs, advanced technologies and infrastructure.”
Other metro markets that could be deemed suitable include: Atlanta, Augusta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, Greensboro, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Oakland, Orlando, San Antonio, San Diego, St. Louis, San Francisco, and San Jose.
“We’re delivering advanced services that offer consumers and small businesses the ability to do more, faster, help communities create a new wave of innovation, and encourage economic development,” said Lori Lee, senior executive vice president, AT&T Home Solutions, in a statement. “We’re interested in working with communities that appreciate the value of the most advanced technologies and are willing to encourage investment by offering solid investment cases and policies.”
While these cities have been announced as potential markets, no timing of rollouts in these markets have been announced. As CNN reported on Tuesday, “It’s worth emphasizing that none of this is a guarantee yet. More likely, it’s AT&T publicly pointing out locations it thinks are good candidates for network upgrades.”
AT&T won’t have a lock on some of these markets. Google launched its Google Fiber in 2012, and that service also has the promise of speed of up to 1Gbps. So far this service has seen rollouts in Kansas City, Kansas; Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah. Earlier this year, Google announced plans to bring its Fiber service to a number of cities in nine metro areas including Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Jose.
CNN reported that Google Fiber costs $70 per month for Internet, and $120 per month for the option to add streaming video. With this service Google noted that viewers at home could download an entire feature-length movie in just 38 seconds.