US operator AT&T is responding to Google’s entry into the high-speed broadband market by promising to launch its own ultra-fast offer in Austin, Texas – where the internet giant plans to switch on a 1Gbps service in mid-2014.
The operator this week said it had begun work on the deployment of a network in Austin that would match Google’s (Mountain View, CA, USA) on connection speeds when finally developed.
AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) plans to start selling a 300Mbps service in Austin from December this year, but claims the technology will be improved to support 1Gbps downloads by mid-2014 – fast enough to download an entire high-definition movie in less than two minutes.
Reports indicate the December service alone would be about seven times as fast as AT&T’s current highest-speed offering.
The operator is calling the service U-verse with GigaPower and says it will reach tens of thousands of customer locations throughout Austin and the surrounding area this year.
Investments in the network are to form part of AT&T’s Project Velocity plan, which will see the operator spend a total of $21 billion in upgrading fixed and mobile networks this year, and another $20 billion in each of 2014 and 2015.
It says details of pricing for U-verse with GigaPower will be made available nearer to the launch date.
Representatives of Austin have welcomed the announcement, saying the investments will boost the city’s efforts to attract businesses.
“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,” said Mike Rollins, president of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.
The move by AT&T is clearly a response to Google’s April announcement that it would introduce 1Gbps services to Austin next year.
The internet player has already launched its Fiber-branded service in Kansas City and aims to launch it in Provo, Utah by the end of the year before turning its attention to Austin.
The Kansas City launch was originally conceived as a trial to see what kinds of web services a 1Gbps connection would make possible, but the company has since appeared keen to establish itself as a rival to the country’s broadband providers in a select number of markets.