AT&T may bring Google Fiber-like Internet to Kansas City [The Kansas City Star :: ]
(Kansas City Star (MO) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) April 21--AT&T is considering offering direct competition to Google Fiber's ultra-fast broadband in the Kansas City market.
The company announced Monday that it was contemplating selling broadband speeds reaching 1 gigabit per second -- nearly 100 times faster than the national average for home consumers -- in 21 new markets.
AT&T has already begun selling its GigaPower service in Austin, Texas, the second significant market where Google Inc. is building the service it debuted in Kansas City.
Already, more than 100,000 customers in Kansas City subscribe to AT&T's U-verse service, which sells cable-like television, Internet access and landline phone service.
Google Fiber does not sell telephone service. It has largely completed construction to Kansas City, Kan., and a central swath of Kansas City. It's in the process of recruiting more customers in northern and southern thirds of the city and in Grandview, Raytown and Gladstone. Google says it complete installations in those areas by the end of this year.
AT&T said it will decide where to take its GigaPower service based on where demand for the faster Internet justifies the investment in a beefed-up network and where regulation eases that construction.
"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," said Lori Lee, an AT&T senior executive vice president, said in a news release.
The company also suggested in its news release that it will sell a service to businesses. Google Fiber only last week said it planned to launch a pilot program testing its service for small businesses in Kansas City and expects to sign up some of those test customers later this year.
AT&T said it will consult with city officials in Kansas City, Kansas City, Kan., Overland Park, Leawood, Shawnee and Independence. Google Fiber has not yet made agreements to expand into either Overland Park or Independence.
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