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Techwars: AT&T Tries to Move Into Cities Before Google Fiber Does

After launching its fiber-optic Internet service, Gigapower, in Austin, Texas, in December and announcing earlier this month plans to bring it to six cities in North Carolina, AT&T has just announced a proposal to add 21 more cities, including major markets such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta. AT&T’s service will provide speeds up to 1 gigabit per second, 100 times faster than standard Internet services, including its own U-verse service.

With Gigapower, AT&T is going head to head with Google, which has been working on and talking about fiber-optic Internet for quite some time. After getting started with Kansas City, Mo., in 2013, then Provo, Utah, and Austin throughout 2013, Google announced 34 new cities up for consideration for the lineup in February.

As we previously surmised, AT&T is likely racing to reach Google’s planned cities first in order to establish its presence before Google gets there. And although when it announced its first stop in Austin — it was only offering 300 megabits per second — it guaranteed a free upgrade to 1 gigabit the following year as a selling point.

Gigapower includes bundles for Internet, cable TV and voice service, and its current rates in Austin are $70 per month for Internet only, $120 per month for cable TV as well and $150 per month for Internet, cable TV and unlimited voice service. Not shockingly, Google Fiber’s prices are the same ($70 per month for Internet, $120 per month for cable TV as well, and all plans include a $30 “construction fee”).

And as usual, the 21 cities are only “proposed” for the time being. AT&T will have to work with local officials in order to get approval.


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