AT&T: We’ll do 1 Gbps in Austin too – maybe

April 9, 2013
Having watched Kansas City, KS, welcome Google with open arms, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has decided not to take lying down Google’s announcement that it will bring its 1-Gbps Google Fiber service to another AT&T market, Austin, TX. The U.S. Tier 1 carrier said it too would provide 1-Gbps services in Austin – provided a few conditions are met.

Having watched Kansas City, KS, welcome Google with open arms, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has decided not to take lying down Google’s announcement that it will bring its 1-Gbps Google Fiber service to another AT&T market, Austin, TX (see "Google Fiber coming to Austin"). The U.S. Tier 1 carrier said it too would provide 1-Gbps services in Austin – provided a few conditions are met.

Principally, AT&T said it wants to be party to whatever sweetheart deals Google is able to cut with Austin City officials.

AT&T warmed to the task by praising municipalities that are “acknowledging the promise and power of economic development associated with telecommunications investment.”

"Most encouraging is the recognition by government officials that policies which eliminate unnecessary regulation, lower costs, and speed infrastructure deployment, can be a meaningful catalyst to additional investment in advanced networks which drives employment and economic growth," said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO, in a company press release.

Want an example? Austin city officials could create one by granting AT&T “the same terms and conditions as Google on issues such as geographic scope of offerings, rights of way, permitting, state licenses, and any investment incentives,” the company said in the same release.

With the skids adequately greased, AT&T said it was prepared to build its own 1-Gbps-capable fiber-optic network in the city under its Project VIP expansion program.

In fact, AT&T said it is willing to work with any municipality to upgrade its broadband infrastructure, given the proper “incentives.”

“Our potential capital investment will depend on the extent we can reach satisfactory agreements,” the company concluded in its press release.

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher

Stephen Hardy has covered fiber optics for more than 15 years, and communications and technology for more than 30 years. He is responsible for establishing and executing Lightwave's editorial strategy across its digital magazine, website, newsletters, research and other information products. He has won multiple awards for his writing.

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