AT&T announces plans for 1Gbps fiber service in Austin, Texas Google gets immediate competition

First thought: "Ha!" Second thought: "Oh, wait -- competition is an excellent thing." While it's highly probable that AT&T is looking to both overshadow Google's launch party and maintain a foothold in one of its most prized states, the outfit's terse announcement of an impending 1Gbps fiber network should honestly be seen as nothing but excellent news for residents of Austin. Merely hours after Google and the city of Austin jointly made clear that Google Fiber would be hitting up local homes in mid-2014, Ma Bell has made public its "intent" to built a 1 Gigabit fiber network in the same area.

AT&T's expanded fiber plans in Austin anticipate it will be granted 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." Of course, it's seriously unlikely AT&T will offer up basic fiber connections for free in the way that Google's doing, but on a macro level, we certainly hope this type of one-upping continues in more towns across the country. And, more specifically, that AT&T continues to roll out fiber networks on its own accord in various locales; with FiOS expansion indefinitely paused, we sure need someone to step up and keep the dream alive.

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AT&T Announces Intent to Build 1 Gigabit Fiber Network in Austin

AUSTIN, Texas, April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) said today that it is pleased to see local communities and municipalities 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.

Today, AT&T announced that in conjunction with its previously announced Project VIP expansion of broadband access, it is prepared to build an advanced fiber optic infrastructure in Austin, Texas, capable of delivering speeds up to 1 gigabit per second. AT&T's expanded fiber plans in Austin anticipate it will be granted 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. This expanded investment is not expected to materially alter AT&T's anticipated 2013 capital expenditures.

AT&T consistently invests in U.S. communities -- $98 billion in capital in the past five years, more than any other public company -- and remains committed to working with any metropolitan community to reach agreement on incentives to improve the climate and speed of overall telecommunications infrastructure investment – facilitating both wired and wireless broadband access. Our potential capital investment will depend on the extent we can reach satisfactory agreements.

Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Information set forth in this press release contains financial estimates and other forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results might differ materially. A discussion of factors that may affect future results is contained in AT&T's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AT&T disclaims any obligation to update and revise statements contained in this news release based on new information or otherwise.

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AT&T announces plans for 1Gbps fiber service in Austin, Texas; Google gets immediate competition