AT&T joins Google in race to bring gigabit to Austin


by TYLER SIESWERDA / KVUE News & Photojournalist JP Harrington

Posted on October 1, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 2 at 7:14 AM

AUSTIN -- A battle erupted Tuesday between two tech superpowers and their mega-fast Internet services with Austin being the battlefield.

One thing is for sure, mega fast Internet is coming to Austin and two companies want a piece of the high-speed pie, Google and now AT&T.

"Way to go Austin. You're changing the world," were the words of Texas Governor Rick Perry in April when Internet giant Google announced its one gigabit fiber service would arrive in Austin by the middle of next year. Tuesday AT&T said it has picked Austin as the first place in the nation to roll out its one gig service. 

"We think the demographic here, the culture, the ability to really innovate, the ability to really collaborate, that's really why we picked Austin," said vice president and general manager of Austin AT&T Services, Inc. Dahna Hull.

In fact it's going to speed things up by the end of the year. 

"We're going to turn up service in December. We're going to start with 300 meg. So customers that sign up for 300 meg will automatically be upgraded to 1 gig in the middle of 2014," said Hull.

That translates to downloading seven songs in one second, or a full HD movie in less than two minutes.

Google is starting from scratch installing fiber lines to deliver the service. AT&T has some existing fiber lines in the area and will be adding more. Hull explained, "we are putting in some new infrastructure and it's 100 percent fiber all the way to the home or all the way to the business."

The one thing AT&T is not talking about is price.

"So we're not going to announce our pricing yet, but I do feel confident that our customers are going to be very happy. They'll be very competitive and again, being able to bundle all those services together from one provider is great," said Hull.

AT&T wants the people of Austin to vote for where the service should be expanded. Click here for a link to that web page.

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