AT&T seems to enjoy riding on Google’s coattails by following the same type of business plan:
1) Get cities/states to give them generous franchise agreements that include public money and utility polls, 2) Upgrade at a snail’s pace with high prices whenever there is no competition, 3) Throw their 1Gbps (that is not actually 1Gbps) speeds at a city whenever Google Fiber is coming to compete against AT&T, 4) Try to make Google Fiber (or the competitor) as frustrated as possible when entering the market.
AT&T thinking that anyone would believe that they randomly picked Austin for their 1Gbps project in May of 2013, right after Google Fiber announced plans for Austin….is comedy. To be clear, before Austin, AT&T did not offer 1 Gbps residential service anywhere. More than half of AT&T’s customers remain on last-generation DSL with speeds slower than 6 Mbps. Even in the select-few housing developments where they do offer fiber to the home, those lines have historically been capped at speeds of 6 to 24 Mbps.
Now, after years of some of the slowest speeds in the country with AT&T present in the city, San Antonio is soon to be getting AT&T’s 1Gbps. At next week’s San Antonio City Council meeting, council will consider granting AT&T the same deal that Google was granted last month, the right to use city property, mainly exiting police and fire stations and libraries, to erect ‘prefabricated communications equipment shelters’ and to string fiber along existing city rights of way.
Oh, that’s right. Google had already struck an agreement with San Antonio for their Google Fiber service if Google officially approves San Antonio (though it seems quite likely). Granted, it was within the last few weeks that San Antonio granted Google the legal right to install “fiber huts.”
Suffice to say, we should expect AT&T to introduce their 1Gbps service in another city the next time that Google Fiber officially commits to bringing their service to an area that AT&T currently resides in.