April 21, 2014

Fort Worth, Arlington targeted for AT&T ultra-fast broadband service

AT&T said it will begin discussions with communities for permitting and inspections to begin laying new fiber-optic lines for its GigaPower service.

Fort Worth, Arlington, Euless and Haltom City are among 100 cities nationwide being targeted by AT&T for expansion of its ultra-fast fiber network called GigaPower, which it says is 10 times faster than its fastest broadband service.

The network, available through AT&T’s U-verse service, can deliver broadband speeds of up to one gigabit a second to consumers and businesses. AT&T said the service allows users to download 25 average-length songs in one second, a 30-minute television show in three seconds, and a two-hour, high-definition movie in 36 seconds.

Holly Reed, AT&T’s regional vice president of external affairs in Dallas, said the company will soon begin talks with the cities about permitting and inspection to lay the new fiber optic lines to provide the service. AT&T is focusing on bringing the service to areas where its U-verse phone, broadband and television is largely available, she said.

It’s also being offered to communities that understand and want investment in technology, Reed said.

The service is being offered in Austin and AT&T recently announced plans to bring the gigabit speeds to Dallas and nine surrounding cities. It is also talking with several North Carolina communities, it said. Elsewhere in Texas, AT&T wants to offer the service in the Houston and San Antonio areas.

“It has the ability to really drive innovation, communication and commerce in a way we haven’t seen before,” Reed said. “It’s a catalyst for economic growth. We want to deploy this infrastructure as quickly as possible.”

Reed said it’s premature to talk about pricing for the service and there is no timeframe for when it will be available. The GigaPower program is part of AT&T’s Project Velocity investment plan to expand and enhance wireless and wireline IP broadband networks. The goal for that project is to reach 57 million customers by the end of 2015, she said.

In Austin, a bundle price for GigaPower phone, broadband and television is $150 a month, according to AT&T’s website.

Monday’s announcement includes 21 major metro areas, with Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles and San Francisco among them.

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