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.