AT&T Expands 1-Gig Reach in N.C.

AT&T said it has launched its 1-Gig, fiber-based “GigaPower” service to portions of two more cities in North Carolina – Durham and Greensboro -- moves that will amp up broadband competition with incumbent cable MSO Time Warner Cable.

The launch of AT&T GigaPower in those markets stems from a North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN) initiative comprised of six cities, four universities, and local businesses. AT&T has also made GigaPower available to other cities and towns in the state, including Apex, Cary, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Morrisville, and Winston-Salem.

While TWC, which is ramping up speeds through its own “TWC Maxx” initiative, is the incumbent MSO in the market, Google Fiber is also preparing to build a fiber-based 1-Gig that will be offered in portions of Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte, N.C., as part of an 18-city expansion announced in January. 

In Durham and Greensboro, AT&T will sell a 1 Gbps standalone broadband service starting for $70 per month to customers who opt for a “Premier” tier that requires them to participate in the telco’s Internet Preferences targeted Web advertising initiative. GigaPower also comes with a monthly data policy that caps usage at 1-terabyte before charging $10 for each additional bucket of 50 Gigabytes, with a maximum monthly overage charge of $30. 

In the new N.C. GigaPower markets, AT&T is also selling broadband-TV bundles that start at $120 per month, and a triple-play bundle that starts at $150 per month.

AT&T's GigaPower pricing tends to skew higher in markets that have not been targeted by Google Fiber. 

AT&T has launched GigaPower in 15 markets so far, including Atlanta; Austin, Dallas, Houston and Ft. Worth, Texas; Chicago; Cupertino, Calif.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Kansas City. AT&T also has plans underway to debut it in parts of Jacksonville, Fla.; St. Louis; and San Antonio, Texas.  

As a commitment tied to its pending acquisition of DirecTV, AT&T has also said it would expand its GigaPower network to an additional 2 million customer locations that are over and above what the company announced in 2014.