AT&T Offers 1 Gigabit/Second Download Speed in Cupertino
By Vittorio Hernandez | August 22, 2014 2:14 PM EST
A prototype Internet tablet plays an ''Avatar'' movie trailer being streamed in 1080p high definition over a 4G LTE wireless network at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 7, 2010.
To be called GigaPower, the super-fast broadband service is 100 times faster than the connection in the average US home and is capable of downloading a high-definition movie in 30 seconds.
Ken McNeeley, president of AT&T California operations, said the telco hopes to make the service available by December or early 2015. Besides Cupertino, the base of Apple, AT&T plans to offer GigaPower to other Bay cities early next year and to San Jose by the first six months of 2015.
The list includes Jacksonville, Miami, Nashville and Houston.
However, he added that the timelines are changeable, depending on the speed of approval process in each city.
Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong said the city, the first to get AT&T upgrade after Google turned down the city's bid to set up a fibre service, is really excited over this development.
AT&T has no price announcement yet for the new service, but Mercury News reports that in Austin, the giant telco charges residents for Gigabit Internet access only $70, but has a $150 triple play package with phone services and pay TV service with 200 channels.
The company's offer is similar to Google's Fiber service and is an upgrade from AT&T's current high-speed U-verse service that has an average download speed of 45 megabits per second or 20 times slower than what GigaPower promises.
Comcast, the dominant Internet access service provider in the Bay Area has thrice the speed of AT&T's U-service at 150 megabits per second for residences and an even faster speed for businesses.
AT&T also offers the GigaPower in Austin and Dallas, while Google Fibre is in the Kansas City area.
However, some analysts doubt if the telcos could really fulfill their speed promises. Broadbandtrends analyst Teresa Mastrangelo calls those offers "fiber to the press release" since such top speeds are usually only available in certain neighbourhoods in a city.
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