Us too – AT&T announces fiber plans

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt April 21, 2014
Logo from the AT&T Facebook page.

Logo from the AT&T Facebook page.

In February, Google caused a stir in Atlanta by announcing it is considering expanding its fiber optics service to cities in the metro area.

AT&T says it plans to offer a fiber optics service, too.

On April 21 the company announced plans to expand its “ultra-fast fiber network” to 100 cities nationwide. And wouldn’t you know it? Some of the same cities Google is talking to are the same ones on AT&T’s list.

The cities in the Atlanta area include Alpharetta, Atlanta, Decatur, Duluth, Lawrenceville, Lithonia, McDonough, Marietta, Newnan, Norcross, and Woodstock.

According to the company’s press release, “The fiber network will deliver AT&T U-verse® with GigaPowerSM service, which can deliver broadband speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second and AT&T’s most advanced TV services, to consumers and businesses.”

The company’s press release says AT&T will begin working with interested cities in a way that’s similar to Google’s efforts to explore whether Atlanta is a viable option for its fiber service.

“AT&T will work with local leaders in these markets to discuss ways to bring the service to their communities,” the company said in its press release. “Similar to previously announced metro area selections in Austin and Dallas and advanced discussions in Raleigh-Durham and Winston-Salem, communities that have suitable network facilities, and show the strongest investment cases based on anticipated demand and the most receptive policies will influence these future selections and coverage maps within selected areas. This initiative continues AT&T’s ongoing commitment to economic development in these communities, bringing jobs, advanced technologies and infrastructure.”

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • UncleNine

    It seems lots of people (including reporters) are being fooled that “Gigabit” speed means anything for a home user. Ten to fifteen MEGABITS is plenty of speed to deliver multiple HD video streams and surf the web at the same time. Plenty.

    It’s METERED BILLING that the monopoly cable systems and telephone companies are hotly after–which is total price gouging. Multiple credible studies have shown this. Internet service is NOT like groceries or gasoline–it doesn’t cost the supplier incrementally more, the more you use. You are paying $480 to $720 a year to cover their cost of wires and cheap commodity hardware. They already make huge profits from it. The trouble is, monopolists don’t invest a penny they absolutely don’t have to–except in billing systems. And they create artificial scarcity so they can justify new fees and higher pricing. (It’s what I would do if I was in charge, wouldn’t you?)

    “Gigabit” speed does nothing for you if you have to turn off the internet on the 12th of every month because you can’t afford the “Gigabytes.”

    • Jon

      you neatly illustrate the profit model of gigabit speeds(only 128 MBps) most users don’t have a need, but some really can utilize it, the future Comcast knows and wishes you didn’t is one where you only buy the channels you want(from whoever you want) and everyone in the family watches on whatever screen they want, whenever they want. while still leaving plenty for downloading and working and phones and whatever other services internet companies offer.

    • Eric Strunz

      Some home users may not benefit from the increased speed, but there are certainly many that could. Ten to fifteen megabits is usually enough for a highly compressed HD video stream (like regular Netflix HD, Amazon Prime). But as a reference, Blu Rays typically have data rates around 20-30 Mbps. More bandwidth allows for better quality (less compression) and higher resolutions (e.g., 4K or “quad HD”).

      Plus, fiber services allow for much faster upload speeds for regular consumers. If you upload family videos to YouTube or try to share big photos with friends, those faster upload speeds can be amazingly helpful.

      Further, Google Fiber has proven to be capable of disrupting the marketplace, lowering prices of competing services. Dan notes this in another article. Competition in this sector seems to be good for consumers.

      I think you make a great point about metered billing, but you only need to look at Comcast to see that transition already taking place. Data caps, overage charges, and other related practices are already happening. I believe one of the only ways to reverse that trend is through increased competition. Hopefully Google Fiber can provide exactly that to Atlanta.

  • agamemnus

    1) “We too”, not “Us too”.
    2) More competition is always good…

  • It is definitely the age of the fiber boom. It’ll be interesting to see where this leads and how it affects the consumer.

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