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AT&T 1-Gig Fiber Live This Week in Austin

Dan Jones
12/10/2013
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AT&T's CEO said Tuesday morning that the operator's 1-Gigabit Fiber service will go live in Austin, Texas, this week, beating Google Fiber to the punch.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) said in April that it was working on a 1-Gig service that would rival the Google Fiber Inc. initiative. Bill Smith, AT&T president of network operations, said in May that AT&T already had the project on the drawing board in Austin and "brought it forward a little bit" in reaction to the Google service. (See: AT&T Plans 1Gig Service in Austin.)

"Project Lightbeam will launch this week in Austin," AT&T's Randall Stephenson told financial analysts at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York City, of the new 1-Gigabit service.

Stephenson suggested that the Google 1-Gigabit move in Austin had even helped AT&T move ahead with regulators and local government. "We just went in and said: 'We'll take one of those,'" he said.

He didn't, however, name future cities for potential 1-Gig AT&T service at the conference.

Google has helped push 1-Gig initiatives in the US. It has launched 1-Gigabit service in Kansas City and Provo, Utah. Austin is expected to go live in mid-2014. (See: Keeping Up With Google Fiber, Google Fiber Starts Utah Rollout, and Austin Gets Google's Next Fiber Gig.)

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is following suit in Provo. (See: Google Fiber, Comcast Prep for Battle.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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KBode
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KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/17/2013 | 9:44:42 AM
Re: Price?
They really want them to start heading over to LTE. Which is part of the reason AT&T has been capping DSL users (who they don't want) but not U-Verse users (they want, for now).
Phil_Britt
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Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/17/2013 | 9:31:26 AM
Re: Price?
If DSL users hadn't already felt like poor cousins, they would likely soon as faster services, either from AT&T or competitors, became available.

Makes sense that AT&T wouldn't try to keep these subscribers on an inferior service. This is similar to Verizon replacing the copper wire service destroyed by Hurricane Sandy with broadband wireless.
KBode
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KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/13/2013 | 5:48:46 PM
Re: Price?
A good chunk are upgraded to U-Verse, but another sizeable chunk are headed to cable. AT&T and Verizon tend to bury those specifics. In Verizon's case they're happy to see them flee to cable, as cable will just pitch them a Verizon LTE connection. I believe AT&T's going to take the more direct approach and push all of their unwanted DSL users to LTE, arguing it's "just as good" as fixed service. At $15 per GB overage fees, and with LTE signals not reaching many regions (or parts of the house) it's certainly not.
albreznick
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albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
12/13/2013 | 5:44:36 PM
Re: Price?
Good points. So where are those long-time DSL users going? Isn't AT&T upgrading most of them to U-verse? That's what their earnings reports seem to suggst.

Alan

  
KBode
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KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/11/2013 | 8:54:56 AM
Re: Price?
For quite a few years they technically did deploy fiber to the home to higher-end developments, though they capped those users at traditional VDSL speeds (usually no faster than 18 to 24 Mbps). My guess is they're simply going to take the limits off of those users then heavily hype them to suggest AT&T's more cutting edge than they actually are -- even though the total impacted customer base will be relatively minor and the vast, vast majority of users still won't be seeing next-gen speeds.

All this will be happening while AT&T is busy hanging up on the tens of millions of DSL users they don't want to upgrade as part of their "IP transition." The media will fixate on the limited 1 Gbps deployment, while ignoring the reality that most of their DSL users are losing service so AT&T can force heavily capped LTE on them.
albreznick
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albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
12/10/2013 | 9:16:55 PM
Re: Price?
So how far do you think AT&T will play this? Will they do 1 Gig in other markets too if they run into a Google Fiber again? Or have they already shot their wad, so to speak? 
KBode
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KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/10/2013 | 6:37:15 PM
Re: Price?
I suppose the difference is that Verizon did bother to invest in FTTH and can offer 300-500 Mbps to a large portion of their footprint. Comcast too can now offer 300-500 Mbps via DOCSIS 3.0 and some FTTH deployments.

Contrast that to AT&T, who shirked more serious network upgrades at most opportunities, yet somehow is the one crowing about 1 Gbps even though most of their customers are very lucky if they're able to get 45 Mbps. Tens of millions of AT&T users are on sub 6 Mbps DSL lines with 150 GB caps.

So there's playing the PR marketing game with speeds most users may not need (which most ISPs are doing), and then there's actively trying to pretend you're more cutting edge than you actually are.
albreznick
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albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
12/10/2013 | 6:22:24 PM
Re: Price?
I love it. So now it should be Verizon's turn to announce a 1 Gig offering, no? And then Comcast can come out and top it again and we can keep playing the almost meaningless but always entertainin speed game. 
Liz Greenberg
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Liz Greenberg,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/10/2013 | 4:14:33 PM
Re: Price?
@kbode...you nailed it or should I say that you aimed a laser sharp beam of light on the PR antics of our friends at AT&T and elsewhere.  FTTPR is going to take hold but it will still get grouped with the FTTx stuff so be prepared and don't cry when it happens.  :-}
Dan@LightReadingMobile
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Dan@LightReadingMobile,
User Rank: Blogger
12/10/2013 | 3:00:13 PM
Re: Price?
Thanks!
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