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posted by LaminatorX on Friday May 09 2014, @07:15AM   Printer-friendly
from the Telecom-Laxative dept.

Marguerite Reardon writes at Cnet that within a week of Google's declaration last spring that it planned to build a fiber network in the city of Austin, AT&T announced its own Austin fiber network and in less than a year's time, AT&T and local cable operator Grande Communications have beaten Google to market with their own ultra-high speed services using newly built fiber networks. AT&T maintains it has been planning this fiber upgrade for a long time, and that Google's announcement didn't affect the timing of its network but Rondella Hawkins, the telecommunications and regulatory affairs officer for the city of Austin, said she had never heard about AT&T's plans before Google's news came out. Hawkins was part of the original committee that put together Austin's application to become the first Google Fiber city. "Our application for Google would have been a good tip-off to the incumbents that we were eager as a community to get fiber built," says Hawkins. "But we never heard from them. Until Google announced that it was going to deploy a fiber network in Austin, I was unaware of AT&T's plans to roll out gigabit fiber to the home." Grande Communications' CEO Matt Murphy admits that without Google in the market, his company wouldn't have moved so aggressively on offering gigabit speeds. It also wouldn't be offering its service at the modest price of $65 a month, considering that the average broadband download speed sold in the US is between 20Mbps and 25Mbps for about $45 to $50 a month.

It's not surprising, then, that in every city in AT&T's 22-state footprint where Google is considering deploying fiber, AT&T also plans to bring GigaPower. That's a total of 14 markets, including Austin, the Triangle region of North Carolina, and Atlanta, home to AT&T's mobility division. While AT&T refuses to acknowledge that its gigabit fiber plans are answering the competitive challenge posed by Google Fiber, others say that Kansas City may have been a wake-up call. "I think all the providers have learned some valuable lessons from Google's Kansas City deployment," says Julie Huls, president and CEO of the Austin Technology Council. "What Google did instead was say, 'We're going to build you a Lamborghini, but price it at the same price as a Camry,'" says Blair Levin. "And that's what's so disruptive about it."

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by rts008 on Friday May 09 2014, @07:57AM

    by rts008 (3001) on Friday May 09 2014, @07:57AM (#41169)

    They got all that money years ago to upgrade infrastructure, there are thousands of miles of dark fiber, and it takes competition in the area to finally get them off of their dead backsides.

    This does not affect me, and likely won't for quite a while, but I'm glad to see others finally start getting benefits from that money(tax dollars, paid by the People). Even at those high prices.

    Good for Google, thanks guys for getting the ball rolling.(can Oklahoma be next...please?!!)
    Although the way Congress and lobbies work, I expect to see a large mountain range or tall cliff ahead for that ball rolling, soon and dead ahead.

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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Hairyfeet on Friday May 09 2014, @06:00PM

    by Hairyfeet (75) <> on Friday May 09 2014, @06:00PM (#41335) Journal

    Don't count on those benefits pal, as they ripped out the copper lines in my area for fiber but since they haven't bothered to replace the aging DSLAMs the DSL still sucks ass compared to cable. Also note that with much of these rollouts its NOT FTTH, its FTTN, which means you still are dealing with the shitty copper from the box to the building. Just last month they finished replacing the copper with fiber in front of my dad's shop, I verified with the lineman that from the DSLAM to the CO my dad is running on fiber, he went from 3.2mbps to...drumroll....2.6mbps. That's right he actually went DOWN not up and after getting a service guy out there a couple times they said that is the best he's gonna get. Oh and they raised their rates by 10% because of "upgrade fees", needless to say he is trying to switch to cable now.

    I don't know if it'll be the same everywhere but in my area my dad's story is pretty typical, they roll out the fiber but don't bother changing anything else so the speed still sucks. I hope Google doesn't buy the bullshit and actually checks the speeds because I bet the Google service will be a hell of a lot faster than whatever AT&T is offering. And I KNOW their service has GOT to be better, because after dealing with AT&T's idea of "service" (Hello! Have you tried a reboot because I think that fixes everything, and did you know that any piece of equipment not in a lead box causes "EM" which is scary and can break anything,even through walls and a 2 foot thick wooden table? its waves you know) I know they cannot be any fucking worse. I even had one argue that "routers jam the IPs" and after spending a good 20 minutes trying to figure out WTF he was babbling about I finally figured out that he thought that packets could somehow "jam" in a router like jamming too much mail in a slot, and that having just a desktop and laptop hooked to a router would cause this "IP jam", I swear it felt like my IQ was dribbling down my ears just listening to this guy, what great service techs!

    ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.