AT&T has announced that it’s beginning its deployment of fiber optic internet in Austin, Texas and will have its 300Mbps tier ready for Austin residents come December, with gigabit speeds rolling out sometime over the summer next year. AT&T is boasting that its gigabit internet will be the fastest available in Austin when it rolls out, and it’s no doubt obvious that Ma Bell wants to beat Google Fiber to the punch.
AT&T’s U-Verse GigaPower internet, as it’s called, will reach “tens of thousands” of Austin residents when it initially launches, with expansions planned for next year, including the rollout of its gigabit connection.
Google announced in the past that it’s planning on bringing Google Fiber to Austin at some point, but the search giant has mainly been focusing on Provo, Utah as its next location for gigabit internet deployment, even though Google announced Austin as the second city to receive Google Fiber. Nonetheless, Austin residents can look forward to getting some competition in the area.
However, AT&T seems pretty confident that they’ll be the first to roll out gigabit internet in Austin, but pricing will ultimately be the main factor on whether or not residents get AT&T’s new fiber internet. Google Fiber is dirt cheap, and you can get a gigabit connection for less than $100 per month, and they’re even handing out free 5Mbps internet connections. We doubt AT&T will do the same.
The telco hasn’t disclosed pricing for their new fiber optic service, but we’d honestly be surprised if it was on par or cheaper than Google’s Fiber offerings. Google can charge less for Google Fiber because they can make up for any losses in other departments, while AT&T solely relies on this kind of service. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how pricing plays out, and whether or not that will be a huge factor for residents looking to get fiber optic internet.
However, what may entice a lot of users to go with AT&T is the company’s promise to upgrade those with 300Mbps tiers directly to the gigabit tier for free, when it eventually rolls out. Again, pricing details weren’t disclosed, so we’re not sure how much the 300Mbps tier will cost, but a free upgrade to gigabit internet sounds pretty good to us.