In a move that steps up the competition to lay the groundwork for the high-speed Internet of the future, AT&T (NYSE:T) has beaten Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) to launch high-speed fiber Internet in North Carolina. The company recently announced that it has signed agreements with Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Durham, and Cary to rollout its U-Verse GigaPower fiber Internet. Rollouts for Carrboro and Chapel Hill are awaiting final approval.
AT&T says the fiber-based service will offer Internet speeds of up to a gigabit per second, which it says will enable users to download 25 songs in a second or an entire TV episode in less than three seconds. AT&T says that it is teaming up with the North Carolina Next Generation Network, an initiative by six municipalities and four universities, to bring high-speed Internet that AT&T says is ten times faster than what’s currently available in the area. The Verge reports that the consortium issued a request for proposals in 2013,
In December, AT&T rolled out its first gigabit network in Austin, Texas. AT&T says that it plans to double the number of households with gigabit service in Austin, and will rollout the service to Dallas later this year. In April, AT&T announced that it was considering 100 cities for rollouts of the U-Verse GigaPower service. The major metropolitan areas under consideration included: Atlanta, Augusta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, Greensboro, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Oakland, Orlando, San Antonio, San Diego, St. Louis, San Francisco, and San Jose.