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AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities

So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that

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Keeping pace with rival Google Fiber, AT&T has announced a possible expansion to its GigaPower broadband internet service.

The company said that it would be looking at plans for bringing its gigabit service to 100 new cities in 21 metropolitan areas around the US. The proposal would include major population hubs such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Currently, AT&T only offers the GigaPower service to end users in Austin, Texas. The company is also in talks to offer the service in Dallas, Texas, and the Raleigh-Durham and Winston-Salem areas of North Carolina.

The company has made a full list of the prospective markets (and one existing market) as well as an FAQ available to customers on its website.

AT&T said that its selection would depend on both the economic potential of a market and the potential willingness of local authorities to aid the company in building and deploying the fiber networks needed to carry the service. Possible rollouts could begin later this year.

"We're delivering advanced services that offer consumers and small businesses the ability to do more, faster, help communities create a new wave of innovation, and encourage economic development," AT&T Home Solutions senior executive vice president Lori Lee said in a statement.

"We're interested in working with communities that appreciate the value of the most advanced technologies and are willing to encourage investment by offering solid investment cases and policies," she said.

The plans for expansion could help AT&T keep pace with Google Fiber, which earlier this year announced its own plans to expand its gigabit internet service into dozens of new cities. The company is also said to be looking to move into the small business services space.

The two firms have outlined a number of the same markets, including San Jose and Raleigh-Durham, in their planned rollouts, possibly setting the stage for local competition between the two carriers.

Though hotly anticipated by consumers, gigabit fiber internet services remain concentrated in a handful of pilot programs, with many of the early cities helping to land the projects by offering carriers discounted access to existing fiber networks.®

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