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.)
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading