AT&T announced it has begun deployment of a fiber Internet broadband network in Austin, Texas, that promises to deliver speeds of up to 1G bps, and the December launch will initially feature symmetrical speeds of up to 300M bps.
AT&T's U-verse with GigaPower service is initially planned to reach tens of thousands of customer locations throughout Austin and the surrounding areas this year, with additional local expansion planned in 2014 to reach more neighborhoods and businesses. More details on U-verse with GigaPower pricing and availability will be announced closer to the December launch, the company said.
Along with news of the fiber investment, the company announced it will work with leaders throughout Austin to discuss how a fiber platform can further the citywide technology ecosystem, driving further innovation to complement the city's progressive technology focus. Customers who sign-up for 300M bps service will upgrade to speeds up to 1G bps when available in mid-2014 at no extra cost.
"This is an exciting time to live and work in Austin. We currently sit at the cutting edge of technology and this deployment will allow our businesses and residents to work, educate, create, invest and build at faster speeds," said Mike Rollins, president of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. "Jump-starting the actual construction of GigaPower will add another reason for people to want to do business and innovate in Austin and call Austin home."
The offering complements the company’s three-year Project Velocity IP investment plan to expand and enhance its wireless and wireline IP broadband networks to support growing customer demand for high-speed Internet access, advanced TV services, and new mobile and cloud services. This year, AT&T plans to invest in the $21 billion range and in the $20 billion range each year in 2014 and 2015.
"Austin embodies innovation and social consciousness, and is the heart of a vibrant, ever-evolving tech culture and entrepreneurial spirit," Dave Nichols, president of AT&T Texas, said in a statement. "With our all-fiber U-verse services, we are building the foundation for a new wave of innovation for Austin's consumers, businesses, and civic and educational institutions. It's about engaging the full community and empowering the city and its people with all that technology can offer us. This investment will help attract new business and new jobs to Austin."
Austin is fast becoming a battleground for Internet providers. In April, Time Warner Cable announced that the company has begun deployment of TWC WiFi, a citywide WiFi hotspot network for its customers in Austin.
The announcement is widely viewed as a defensive move from the cable giant as Google plans to bring its own superfast Internet service, Fiber, to the Texas capital. Access to the TWC WiFi network is free to Time Warner Cable customers with standard Internet or above service plans and to the company’s Business Class Internet customers.