AT&T yesterday (11 August 2014) announced that it has upgraded its ‘GigaPower’ fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) service – launched in Austin, Texas in December 2013 – from an existing 300Mbps maximum internet download speed to the 1Gbps limit it originally promised. The full 1Gbps broadband service is now available to ‘tens of thousands’ of households in and around Austin, and those who previously subscribed to the FTTH-based ‘U-verse with AT&T GigaPower’ (300Mbps) package are being upgraded to 1Gbps automatically at no additional cost, in a process to be completed in the next few weeks, according to AT&T’s press release. Pricing starts at USD70 a month for standalone internet on a one-year contract, with the options of adding on IPTV and telephone services.
Regarding its national plans for FTTH rollout, AT&T has disclosed that, contingent on receiving approval for its proposed acquisition of pay-TV group DIRECTV, it will expand the GigaPower fibre access network to an additional two million customer premises – all of which are over and above what the company previously announced in April 2014. That month AT&T announced an initiative to expand the GigaPower FTTH network to up to 100 candidate cities and municipalities across 25 markets nationwide, including 21 major metropolitan areas. By the time of yesterday’s announcement, AT&T said it had committed to deliver the GigaPower service to Houston, San Antonio, Charlotte, Nashville, Overland Park (Kansas), Raleigh-Durham and Winston-Salem (both in North Carolina), while this summer it will also begin lighting the FTTH network in Dallas, Fort Worth and surrounding cities in north Texas. The other metro area FTTH candidates include: Atlanta, Augusta, Chicago, Cleveland, Fort Lauderdale, Greensboro, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Oakland, Orlando, San Diego, St Louis, San Francisco and San Jose. AT&T will also double the number of households in the Austin area covered by the existing GigaPower network this year, ‘as a result of high demand that has exceeded expectations.’