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AT&T Eyes San Antonio For ‘GigaPower’ Expansion

Following a path already being blazed by Google Fiber, AT&T is also looking at San Antonio as a possible expansion city for U-verse With GigaPower, a fiber-based platform that AT&T is deploying now in Austin and is in the process of bringing to Dallas.

Word of AT&T’s interest comes less than a month after San Antonio approved a long-term, master lease deal that will help to clear the deployment of 40 Google Fiber “fiber huts” that are used to help power a network that would be capable of delivering broadband speeds of 1  Gbps. San Antonio, which is served by incumbent cable operator Time Warner Cable, is one of 34 possible expansion cities in nine metros that Google Fiber is “exploring.”

AT&T confirmed a report that it is also holding similar talks with San Antonio. According to radio station WOAI, San Antonio’s city console will considering granting AT&T the same deal it recently granted to Google Fiber.

“We look forward to continuing our work with Mayor Julian Castro and other San Antonio area leaders on a master lease agreement, which could facilitate AT&T’s continued expansion of our high-speed Internet in San Antonio,” AT&T regional vice president Renee  Flores said, in statement. “When businesses and municipalities work together, we can and do reach agreements that lay the groundwork for new investment and real competition that can benefit  consumers.  With the leadership of Mayor Castro, San Antonio is a testament to what is possible when policies encourage investment in technology, which in turn paves the way for economic growth and job creation in addition to serving and exceeding customer desires.”

AT&T spokeswoman Mona Taylor noted that AT&T has not yet committed to deploying U-verse with GigaPower beyond Austin and Dallas.

“This ordinance is about fairness and welcoming innovation and competition. We are constantly working to upgrade, improve and expand our networks to meet the demands of our customers in San Antonio, across the state and around the U.S.” she said in a statement to Multichannel News, noting that AT&T had recently invested more than $450 million in wireless and wired networks in San Antonio between 2011 and 2013.

AT&T launched GigaPower last December to parts of Austin, where it’s starting off with symmetrical speeds of 300 Mbps, with plans to ratchet that up to 1 Gbps by mid-2014, about the same time Google Fiber is expected to start connecting homes to its 1-Gig network in the city. Grande Communications has also launched a 1-Gig service in Austin.

AT&T announced last month that it will deploy its U-verse with GigaPower platform in Dallas sometime this summer.