AT&T lights up 1 Gbps service in Research Triangle and Winston-Salem, N.C.

AT&T (NYSE: T) will soon start offering its 1 Gbps fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) service to consumer and business customers in parts of Research Triangle and Winston-Salem, N.C.

Focused on serving Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Winston-Salem, AT&T said the selection of these cities for the GigaPower network stems from the agreement it struck with the North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN) initiative.

AT&T also plans to bring its GigaPower service to additional areas and expand the availability of the network in Charlotte, Durham and Greensboro. Under the terms of the agreement with the NCNGN, Durham residents and small businesses will receive AT&T U-verse Internet connectivity and U-verse TV services for the first time.

However, AT&T said that specific timing of availability for these markets will be announced at a later date.

Eligible consumers will be able to choose from a number of Internet speeds and voice, video and data bundling packages on the GigaPower network, with speeds up to 100 Mbps starting as low as $90 per month. Residential customers can upgrade their speed to up to 1 Gbps and add TV or a home phone for an additional $30 a month per service.

Complementing the 1 Gbps data speeds, consumers will have the option to watch and record five simultaneous HD streams and access AT&T's DVR that's capable of storing up to 900 hours of SD or 330 hours of HD programming. The service provider is also tuning into the mobile nature of their customers by enabling consumers to watch over 100 live channels in and out of home, watch video on-demand TV shows and schedule DVR recordings on more than 30 smartphones and tablets through the AT&T U-verse app.

AT&T's FTTP investment has also become a key element in the net neutrality debate.

Following President Barack Obama's call to the FCC to reclassify broadband providers under the controversial Title II element of the Telecom Act, AT&T said that it is pausing on any fiber investments that go beyond its commitment to bring service to 2 million customers as part of its DirecTV merger until the rules are clarified.

After the FCC asked AT&T to provide information on its fiber investment delay, the service provider responded in a letter that it will go forward with its plans to bring its fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) GigaPower 1 Gbps service to 21 communities. At that time, AT&T said that it does not think "the president's proposal would render all of these locations unprofitable," but it "cannot evaluate additional investment beyond its existing commitments until the regulatory treatment of broadband service is clarified."

For more:
- see the release

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