AT&T to Match Google Fiber Speeds and Pricing in Kansas City

ATT logoI’ve said it before. I’ll say it again.

The fastest way to improve an industry’s service or pricing is to introduce more competition. For the broadband industry, we’ve been watching traditional cable and DSL providers scramble to improve their offerings in areas where Google or publicly funded efforts are rolling out fiber to home internet.

AT&T has announced plans to match Google’s price and performance in areas around Kansas City. Gigabit broadband will cost $70, and combined with a basic TV package will increase that rate to $120.

It’s interesting to note that AT&T will also be courting businesses as Google currently only offers their fiber solution to residential areas. AT&T is already operating their “Gigapower” version of U-Verse in Austin, and there has been talk of expanding to more areas around the country this year. Moving to Kansas City is a clear shot at the area Google started their fiber roll out.

With Google announcing more cities on their list for gigabit internet, it would seem the broadband market might be heating up a bit, especially as cable providers like Time Warner and Comcast seem ill-equipped to offer competitive speeds and pricing compared to fiber providers.

You can read AT&T’s full press release below.

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Google Fiber Begins Signing Up Residents in Austin

austin_fiber_vanIt’s a happy week for High Speed Internet junkies in Austin!

Google Fiber is getting the ball rolling in the south and southeast areas of the city for homes, apartments, and small businesses. Full Gigabit broadband will start at $70 a month, $130 a month will land you over 150 TV channels, and the fantastic free option remains for customers who pay a one time $300 construction fee, with speeds topping out at 5Mbps.

If you’re in the area and want to sign up, make sure you check out Google’s deadlines as they focus on building out the fiber in small pieces of each city.  Congrats Austin! Hopefully someday, in my lifetime, the rest of us can join you in having truly fast internet access… Sigh… Someday…

Portland City Council Unanimously Approves Google Fiber Franchise

Google-Fiber1It’s a critical first step to offering up Gigabit to the citizens of Portland Oregon.

The Oregonian is reporting that Portland’s City Council has approved Google’s franchise agreement. Google is looking to roll out gigabit broadband in the city and surrounding suburbs. Google will have until year’s end to decide whether it wants to start offering the service to residents, and that could depend on the other cities near Portland where Google also wants to offer Fiber.

Interestingly enough, part of the Franchise agreement depended on a joint Portland+Google legal defense strategy if other ISP’s get cranky about potential preferential treatment.

After that, Fiber could still be delayed by zoning and licensing issues, but it’s an encouraging step in the right direction for folks wanting more broadband competition.

(Via Oregon Live)

AT&T Looking to Bring 1Gbps Fiber to 21 Major Metro Areas

How fast is 1 GBPS?Competition is good.

AT&T is looking to bring 1Gbps fiber internet connections to over 100 cities and municipalities. On the list are 21 major metropolitan areas including my current home city Los Angeles.

“Californians are inventing and adopting new technologies every day. With today’s announcement, we stand ready to work with local leaders to bring AT&T U-verse with GigaPower to our state.  This incredible technology will enable California entrepreneurs to innovate like never before and will give consumers the choice of an ultra-fast fiber network connection,” AT&T’s California President, Ken McNeely said.

Comcast has been upgrading connections to 100Mbps (one tenth the speed of gigabit fiber), Verizon has been stagnant with its FiOS offerings, but apparently the slow pressure building from Google Fiber was enough to move Big Blue to start offering up “GigaPower” to more consumers and businesses.

Whoever can run a line to my house first wins my business and some fresh baked brownies. You can read the full press release below.

Continue reading “AT&T Looking to Bring 1Gbps Fiber to 21 Major Metro Areas”

AT&T to Beat Google in Offering Gigabit Fiber in North Carolina

How fast is 1 GBPS?Competition is good. Even the threat of competition from companies like Google is spurring more traditional carriers and ISP’s to step up their game. Pricing is getting better in “threat” areas, and speeds are starting to improve. Google doesn’t even need their own Fiber service to be profitable for this experiment to be successful, so long as potential Google customers have access to the next generation of web, media, and advertising services.

Case in point, AT&T is already putting out rumblings of offering their GigaPower Fiber to another community outside of Texas. Residents in North Carolina might soon their broadband increase to 1Gbps over the next two years. This investment should also improve their LTE and WiFi hotspot offerings in the area.

Coming on the heels of Google’s announcement that they were examining expanding Fiber to 33 new cities over the coming years, traditional ISP’s are starting to take the threat seriously. It’s no longer a passing oddity, and are starting to proactively respond. Consumers only stand to benefit so long as competition is increased.

Full AT&T PR below.

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Google Considering Becoming a Wireless Carrier in Fiber Areas?

Google-Fiber1Market disruption. Seriously. Think about it. Do people buy standalone GPS devices anymore? No. We “Google Map” things on our phones. Google has done a remarkable job of examining popular business models and then turning them on their collective ears.

Rumors are flying that in addition to offering up home data connections, Goog could be considering a move to also offer up wireless services in areas where they’re already flirting with fiber. It makes sense as they’ve already invested in the server infrastructure in those areas, but they’d need to work out deals on wireless spectrum if they’re going to operate their own towers.

They could also be considering some sort of MVNO like WalMart does with Straight Talk, but augmented with their own data services. We know Google has worked to try and light up cities with WiFi in the past, and combining WiFi with another carrier’s traditional cell network, and tying that to Google Hangouts/Voice could be a really compelling solution. Much like Vonage or Republic Wireless, you’d have a proper phone number which works over WiFi, and switches to traditional 3G/4G when you’re no longer connected to a hotspot.

Is a Google Phone service one you would consider? Drop us a comment below!

Google and IBM want to make the internet a LOT faster, but will consumers ever get the upgrades?

server rack rear cablingWithin a day of each other, complimentary stories about Google and IBM hit the net.

Google is working on plans to improve their fiber offerings from 1Gbps to 10Gbps, meaning their uploads and downloads would be 200 and 2000 times faster than what I currently have access to in Los Angeles. We can also easily estimate that the service would be cheaper than the top tier broadband in So-Cal. Originally their plan was to roll out 10Gbps connections over the next decade, but in light of 4K video services popping up to supply people native resolution content for their new TV’s, they’ve shortened that window to three years. The internet is going to need bigger pipes to handle future services.

And if you think Google’s data sounds audacious, IBM has even bigger goals in their sites.  Continue reading “Google and IBM want to make the internet a LOT faster, but will consumers ever get the upgrades?”

Kansas Legislature Trying to Stall Fiber Internet Outside of Kansas City?

Google-Fiber1Hey Google. If the rest of Kansas doesn’t want Fiber, might I suggest breaking up some of the monopolies here in Southern California? Maybe? Think about it OK?

I try not to soapbox politically too often on this site, but network infrastructure is one of my trigger topics, especially when business and politics meet preventing a level playing field and stifling competition.

The “municipal communications network and private telecommunications investment safeguards act” would seek to prevent other municipalities in Kansas from offering the same kinds of incentives Kansas City provided Google. Of course, the boilerplate goals of the bill all triumph protecting consumer interests, and providing services through “fair competition”, and letting the established ISP market decide what fair rates are for that service.  Continue reading “Kansas Legislature Trying to Stall Fiber Internet Outside of Kansas City?”