To say that AT&T is stealing Google's thunder isn't really the right way to put it, but Ma Bell is using the buzz surrounding Google Fiber's big launch into Austin as a way to springboard its own plans for a ultra-high speed network.
Today, AT&T has announced intentions to build its own advanced fiber optic infrastructure "capable of delivering speeds up to 1 gigabit per second" in Austin, Texas.
No other details - like the when and how much - have been divulged. We're guessing that AT&T will be unwilling to offer anything like Google Fiber's free internet (with construction fee, of course). But as far as the pricing goes, it remains to be seen.
No surprise here, but AT&T makes a point to say that they don't expect the project to "materially alter their anticipated 2013 capital expenditures."
Also, AT&T expects to be given the same terms as Google in the city of Austin:
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, all of this comes on the heels of Google's announcement that they will be expanding their Google Fiber initiative to Austin in mid-2014. Google says the price will be similar to what it is in Kansas City, and that they will be giving the service free to public institutions like schools, libraries, and hospitals.
No matter what, this is great for the residents of Austin, who now have multiple companies looking to give them crazy fast internet. Some cities have all the luck.