AT&T is rolling out a new Internet service in Austin and Miami, citing it as the fastest in the country, and tied to its GigaPower fiber network that is enhanced to deliver speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second for customers.
The move comes only days after a state of the Internet report showed some Americans enjoy Internet speeds half that of South Korea and below many European countries.
The high-speed service is now available to thousands of households in and around Austin, Texas. The company hopes to continue to bring forward the new fiber network into new cities and regions across the U.S., with Miami being tapped as a coming destination for the fast network. AT&T will go head-to-head with Google Fiber in Austin later this year when Google's build-out is sufficiently complete for it to offer service.
For U-verse subscribers currently with speeds of up to 300 Mbps, no additional costs will be required as AT&T will upgrade those accounts over the next few weeks to incorporate the ultra-fast Internet speed for users. "Existing customers don't need to do anything, the upgrades will happen automatically," says a statement from AT&T.
The move is good news for Americans who have become frustrated by the overall lack of Internet speed on par with other industrialized countries. Tech Times reported that Virginia has the fastest Internet speeds in the country, clocking in at around 13.7 Mbps, still only just over half of the connection speeds South Korea enjoys, according to the "State of the Internet" report published by Akamai Technologies.
Alaska has the slowest connections in the country, clocking in at just 7 Mbps. The United States average is 10.5 Mbps, which is just below a handful of European countries, but still decently high when compared with the world as a whole.
"This is an exciting day for Internet enthusiasts in the capital city," said Dave Nichols, president of AT&T Texas.
"With the AT&T GigaPower network, the online experience is incredible. Our customers can stream and download video and music faster than ever before. It will change the way they navigate the web, interact with social media, and complete business transactions. Austin and surrounding communities are once again at the forefront of exciting technology innovation."
The wireless provider also announced it would be launching a new TV app for Austin residents, called Austin Found, that gives users the ability to customize information about the city's entertainment, food and events. Users will be able to add events and restaurants to an event calendar with the app to share with the entire family on the places to eat and the places to head out and enjoy a night on the town.
It is the latest effort by AT&T to deliver high-quality services to its users, especially as concerns over pricing and lack of speed have been issues companies have been dealing with recently. AT&T is considering expanding services to an additional 2 million customers as part of its proposal to acquire DirecTV, and also may expand GigaPower to 100 cities in various markets, including Greensboro, N.C., and Houston. AT&T announced in May plans to acquire satellite operator DirecTV in a $48.5 billion deal. If approved, it would create the second-largest pay TV operator.