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AT&T Completes Austin Gigabit Upgrade Ahead of Schedule

October 13, 2014

AT&T Completes Austin Gigabit Upgrade Ahead of Schedule

By Gary Kim
Contributing Editor

AT&T (News - Alert) says it has upgraded all Austin market “U-verse with AT&T GigaPower” customers to speeds reaching up to 1 Gbps. AT&T originally upgraded speeds to 300 Mbps, as part of the planned upgrade to gigabit speeds in 2014.

AT&T also says it has doubled the reach of the fiber access network in Austin and surrounding communities.

AT&T says consumer reaction to the new fiber access service “exceeded company expectations,” and “continue to exceed expectations.”

Even if Internet service providers several years ago were often quick to point out that few customers actually wanted to buy 50 Mbps or 100 Mbps Internet access service, the advent of Google (News - Alert) Fiber showed that demand was directly related to perceptions of the value proposition.

Clearly, consumers deem a gigabit access service, sold for a retail price between $70 and $120 to be a reasonable proposition, compared to prior offers.

The expansion to 1 Gbps was completed in September 2014, three months ahead of schedule, and reaches tens of thousands of additional homes and small businesses in Austin and surrounding communities, including parts of Bastrop, Cedar Park, Dripping Springs, Jollyville, Lakeway, Leander, Pflugerville, and Round Rock, AT&T says.

Already available today in three markets, including Dallas and Fort Worth, AT&T has committed to building its AT&T GigaPower network in 12 new markets, including Charlotte, Cupertino, Greensboro, Houston, Jacksonville, Miami, Nashville, Overland Park, Kan., Raleigh-Durham, St. Louis, San Antonio, and Winston-Salem.

In total, AT&T is exploring expansion to up to 100 candidate cities and municipalities across 25 markets nationwide.

Additionally, AT&T committed that upon approval of its proposed acquisition of DIRECTV, the company will expand the U-verse with AT&T GigaPower network to an additional two million customer locations. All of these two million locations are over and above what the company announced in April 2014, AT&T says.

AT&T is also preparing to offer increased Wi-Fi speeds in the homes of new and existing U-verse with AT&T GigaPower customers.

The increased in-home Wi-Fi speeds are expected to double the speeds of generally available Wi-Fi from other providers today.

Existing U-verse with AT&T GigaPower customers will be eligible to receive a new Wi-Fi gateway at no charge once available.   

For a limited time, Austin area residents who add a new AT&T mobility plan to a new or existing U-verse with AT&T GigaPower high speed Internet service plan will be eligible for a one-time $100 promotional credit on their AT&T wireless monthly bill.

The offer runs through Nov. 8, 2014.  Consumers must have a qualifying AT&T wireless plan and a U-verse with AT&T GigaPower high speed Internet plan for 45 days to receive a $100 bill credit.

Consumers can choose between two Internet offers on the U-verse with AT&T GigaPower network. The “Premier” service offers Internet speeds up to 1Gbps for $70 per month, includes waiver of equipment, installation and activation fees.  

The “Standard” package offers Internet speeds up to 1Gbps for $99 per month.

Prices in the Dallas market are higher. In Dallas, a consumer gigabit connection sells for $120 a month, while a 100 Mbps connection sells for $90 a month.

Those prices illustrate the resetting of value-price relationships in the U.S. consumer Internet access business. A service an order of magnitude faster (1 Gbps) costs just $30 more than the 100 Mbps service. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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