Earlier today, Google officially unveiled its plans to expand its Google Fiber services to Austin, Texas. Not wanting to let Google show them up, AT&T has now announced that it will also be bringing one gigabit fiber to the city — eventually.
Competition is never a bad thing. Having two different high-speed fiber services in the same city means that these two services will have to fight harder to win over John Q. Public. This means lower costs for service in the long-term.
Of course AT&T only announced it is planning to eventually release a service, there was no time frame given for such plans. It also anticipates it will be given similar treatment by the city of Austin that Google received, which basically just means permits, rights of way and possibly investment incentives.
Can AT&T actually compete against Google Fiber, though? That’s a tough question.
Google has done an excellent job of generating excitement over its new Internet service, not just because of the speed but because Google promises free gigabit connections to many hospitals, schools and community centers. Additionally, Google Fiber will even provide seven whole years of free 5Mpbs Internet for anyone willing to pay the upfront construction fee.
AT&T on the other hand, is plagued by PR issues that go back many years. AT&T is going to have to really crank up the PR machine to full blast if they want to win anyone away from Fiber. Beyond mention of Austin, no word on which other cities AT&T is targeting for its one gigabit Internet service launch. What do you think, any chance in hell that AT&T can compete or not?
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AT&T needs more than PR to fix its image. As a former Uverse and cell phone customer, their service here in Austin leaves much to be desired. The fact that they treat existing customers like dirt and new customers like kings is only part of their problem. I’m looking forward to the competition so if it means I can get Google Fiber for less then thank you AT&T.