Lately, Google has been trying to take a bite out of the carrier business pie, and now carriers are trying to bite it back. For example, Verizon‘s LTE-U push, which is being contested by the likes of Google, is, in a way, trying to cut into Google’s Wi-Fi offering. Now AT&T is now also trying to give Google a taste of its own medicine, by announcing its plans to extend its “100% Fiber” GigaPower service to 38 more metros, particularly in locations that Google Fiber has yet to reach.
Despite all the promises of insane download speeds, fiber connection is something you can’t just promise willy nilly. Like what a real estate agent might say, it’s all about location, location, location. Ever since it launched two years ago, AT&T’s GigaPower has been available in only 18 locations so far.
That might seem small considering how many cities there are in the US but, compared to Google Fiber’s availability, that’s a significant lead. Just last October, Google announced that it was considering to add three more cities to its growing list. But that’s only “potential” cities. The actual number of Fiber cities are three, with 6 listed under “upcoming” and the remaining 9 under “potential”.
AT&T wants to beat Google to the Fiber punch before that happens. The planned 38 new metros is definitely a sizeable chunk, more than twice its current roster, and an ambitious undertaking at that. The full list includes
• Alabama: Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile and Montgomery
• Arkansas: Fort Smith/Northwest Arkansas and Little Rock
• California: Bakersfield, Fresno, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose4
• Florida: Pensacola and West Palm Beach
• Georgia: Augusta
• Indiana: Indianapolis
• Kansas: Wichita
• Kentucky: Louisville
• Louisiana: Baton Rouge, Shreveport-Bossier, Jefferson Parish region and the Northshore
• Mississippi: Jackson
• Missouri: St. Louis5
• Michigan: Detroit
• Nevada: Reno
• North Carolina: Asheville
• Ohio: Cleveland and Columbus
• Oklahoma: Oklahoma City and Tulsa
• South Carolina: Charleston, Columbia and Greenville
• Tennessee: Memphis
• Texas: El Paso and Lubbock
• Wisconsin: Milwaukee
The rollout has actually already started with Los Angeles and Wes Palm Beach in Florida, reducing the list to 36. All of these AT&T plans to accomplish by 2016.