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AT&T Launches ‘GigaPower’ in Charlotte

AT&T has launched its fiber-based “GigaPower” service to parts of Charlotte, N.C., a move that puts some speed pressure on incumbent cable operator, Time Warner Cable, and comes ahead of Google Fiber’s planned deployment in that market.

To qualified homes in Charlotte, AT&T is offering a standalone 1 Gbps service starting at $70 per month (when customers agree to participate in AT&T’s Internet Preferences, the telco’s targeted Web advertising program), essentially matching up with the price Google Fiber has been selling its standalone 1-Gig service. AT&T has been selling GigaPower's standalone 1-Gig service for more in other markets.

But unlike Google Fiber, AT&T has been applying a monthly data consumption policy to GigaPower that caps usage at 1-terabyte before charging $10 for each additional bucket of 50 Gigabytes, with a maximum monthly overage charge of $30.

AT&T is also pairing 1-Gig with TV starting at $120 per month, and a triple-play package starting at $150 per month.

TWC, meanwhile, is implementing an all-digital upgrade in Charlotte that is resulting in free residential Internet speed upgrades that, for example, will see its Ultimate tier, jump from 50 Mbps (downstream) to 300 Mbps. TWC expects to complete that “TWC Maxx” upgrade in Charlotte this summer.

In addition to Charlotte, AT&T has launched GigaPower  in parts of Atlanta; Austin, Dallas, Houston, and Ft. Worth, Texas; Chicago; Cupertino,, Calif.; Nashville, Tenn.; Kansas City; and Raleigh-Durham and Winston-Salem, N.C. AT&T has plans to launch it in parts of Greensboro, Jacksonville, Miami, St. Louis and San Antonio.

AT&T has also committed to expand GigaPower network to an additional 2 million customer locations as part of its proposed merger with DirecTV.

AT&T said it has invested more than $1.6 billion in its wireless and wired networks in North Carolina between 2012 and 2014.

Elsewhere in the AT&T U-verse universe, the telco announced last week that it has introduced a 75 Mbps option in several more markets -- Chicago; Cincinnati; Columbus/Tupelo/West Point/Hattiesburg, Miss.; Panama City and Gainesville, Fla.; Little Rock; Monroe, La./El Dorado, Ark.; Tulsa; and Wilmington, N.C. AT&T said that option is now available in parts of more than 100 cities.

AT&T has been selling that tier, which is paired with an 8 Mbps upstream, for $74.95 per month as a stand-alone service. The telco is enabling that speed in certain portions of those cities following upgrades to a new 17 MHz signal that provides twice the capacity of the 8.5 MHz signal previously available.