AT&T Completes 1-Gig Transition In Austin

All ‘GigaPower’ Subs In Area Now Get The Faster Offering (Updated)
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AT&T said it has completed an upgrade in Austin that transitions all U-verse with GigaPower customers to 1 Gbps, and, following the completion of a recent expansion, has doubled the reach of its fiber-based network in portions of Austin and in some surrounding communities.

AT&T launched its fiber-based GigaPower service in Austin late last year, starting off with downstream and upstream speeds of 300 Mbps. The telco began to introduce 1-Gig upgrades in August, and has been offering 1-Gig in Dallas/Fort Worth since introducing GigaPower there on August 14.

AT&T said it completed an expansion in Austin in September, roughly three months ahead of schedule, that reaches “tens of thousands of additional homes and small businesses” in Austin, as well as communities such as Bastrop, Cedar Park, Dripping Springs, Jollyville, Lakeway, Leander, Pflugerville, and Round Rock. 

AT&T hasn’t announced precisely how many homes have access to the GigaPower service nor how many customers have signed up so far, but noted that sales in the Austin area “continue to exceed expectations.”

In Austin, AT&T sells GigaPower for $70 per month under a “Premier” plan under which customers must agree to participate in AT&T Internet Preferences, a targeted Web advertising program; and for $99 per month under its “Standard” offering.

AT&T also announced Monday that it is preparing to offer faster in-home WiFi speeds to new and existing GigaPower customers. It wasn’t immediately known if that offering will be based on 802.11ac. Update: "Yes. We are upgrading to 802.11ac. Timing is still in the works, but we are working to make it available as soon as possible," an AT&T official said.

The telco noted that it will open an AT&T Center for Innovation in Austin at 323 Congress. Scheduled to open in 2015, the 15,000-square-foot facility will will serve as a meeting place and a tech development center for Austin-area application developers, citizens and entrepreneurs, the telco said.

In Austin, AT&T matches up with Grande Communications, which has begun to roll out a 1-Gig offering of its own, and Time Warner Cable, which recently completed an upgrade that brings a new 300 Mbps (downstream) DOCSIS 3.0 tier across its Austin footprint. Google Fiber is also preparing to launch 1-Gig service in the Austin area.

AT&T has committed to bring its GigaPower network to several markets. Here’s an updated list of deployments and deployment commitments, alongside the area’s incumbent wireline provider:

 -Austin, Texas** (Time Warner Cable, Grande Communications)

-Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas** (Time Warner Cable, Grande Communications, Charter Communications)

-Cary, N.C.* (TWC)

-Charlotte, N.C.* (TWC)

-Carrboro, N.C.* (TWC)

-Chapel Hill, N.C.* (TWC)

-Cupertino, Calif. (Comcast)

-Durham, N.C.* (TWC)

-Greensboro, N.C. (TWC)

-Houston, Texas (Comcast)

-Jacksonville, Fla. (Comcast)

-San Antonio, Texas* (TWC, Grande Communications)

-Overland Park, Kan.* (TWC)

-Miami, Fla. (Comcast)

-Nashville, Tenn.* (Comcast)

-Raleigh, N.C.* (TWC)

-St. Louis, Mo. (Charter Communications)

-Winston-Salem, N.C. (TWC)

 *Also a potential buildout site for Google Fiber

**GigaPower services launched

In April, AT&T announced it was  exploring an expansion of GigaPower to as many as 100 additional cities across 25 markets. It has also proposed to expand GigaPower to an additional 2 million customers as a condition of its pending acquisition of DirecTV.