A battle erupted Tuesday between two tech superpowers and their mega-fast Online and USENET services with Austin being the battlefield.
AT&T announced Tuesday that it will deliver “gigabit” speeds to some Austin neighborhoods starting in December. That would put AT&T’s fiber-optic broadband service on the ground before Google Fiber, which is scheduled to become available next year.
Gigabit speeds are 100 times faster than what is currently available through most broadband providers.
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. AT&T hopes to slow down Google’s market mojo by connecting its superfast home internet first but who gets it and how much it will cost has not been announced. But, AT&T says it’s ready to rumble.
Google has offered to provide Google Fiber in Austin by mid-2014. AT&T countered with an offer to provide 300 Mbps speeds in December and 1 Gigabit per second speeds next year.
In any event, the competition is good for customers (especially those in Austin). It appears AT&T received the same concessions as Google to build out its fiber-to-the-home network, which has allowed the company to turn its “intent” into a plan for building out the network. Specifically, AT&T is allowed to pick and choose where it’ll build out its gigabit internet service. The company is letting neighborhoods voice their interest in the service to “help influence future deployment” — just as Google has done in Kansas City and elsewhere. This does mean that less wealthy neighborhoods are unlikely to see fiber service. Pricing remains a mystery for now, but AT&T says that it’ll reveal more by December. Google Fiber offers free 5mbps service to homes for seven years after paying an installation fee, $70 per month internet, and $120 per month internet and TV service.
However this goes, if you’re lucky enough to live in the Austin, Texas area, you’re soon to see new choices in delivering even faster USENET access. Thundernews is able and ready to handle fiber connection traffic.