With plenty of fanfare, Google announced that Austin, TX will be the next test market for its Gigabit data/video network. Google indicated that it hoped that it will be providing its Gigabit network to consumers starting in 2014. Google's already built a Gigabit network in Kansas City, offering data speeds three times faster than its nearest major competitor (Verizon) offers in a few markets, and thirteen times faster than AT&T's current fastest standard offering.AT&T, who currently provides its U-Verse data/video service in Austin, responded by committing to upgrading their network to Gigabit speeds, as part of their Project VIP broadband expansion efforts - if it can get the same terms and conditions from local authorities that they will offer Google.
"AT&T is making the point that they could make a lot more investments in many of their communities, absent the regulatory burdens which every community puts on providers," said Raymond James analyst Frank Louthan.City officials indicated that Google wasn't getting the kinds of special deals in Austin that they had negotiated in Kansas City. The only Austin "deals" that have been made public call for Google to connect some 100 public facilities to the Gigabit network, as well as offer free low bandwidth (5 Mbs) Internet service (for at least seven years) to anyone paying a one-time construction/connection fee (the amount for Austin residents was yet to be determined, but was $300 in Kansas City).
There are two other Gigabit speed networks currently providing residential service in the US - one in Chattanooga, TN, the other in the San Francisco Bay area - but those are significantly more expensive (around $250-300 a month, without digital video) than Google's KC rates ($120 a month). And if AT&T and Verizon start building competitive Gigabit networks, the competition should help keep prices low.
Source - Google, AT&T target Austin for high-speed internet, TelecommEngine.com