AT&T poses new threat to Google with Cupertino, Calif., 1 Gbps fiber plans

AT&T (NYSE: T) is putting a foundation in place to deal with impending competition from Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) by reaching an agreement with local officials to move ahead with plans to install its AT&T GigaPower fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network service in Cupertino, Calif.

To deliver the service to consumers and businesses, the service provider will deploy additional fiber and associated electronics in the existing Cupertino network.

At this point, the service provider has not revealed availability and pricing for the Cupertino market, saying that those details will come later.

Cupertino is part of a broader effort by AT&T to bring fiber-based broadband service to more parts of the country. In April, the service provider announced that it would expand its fiber network to up to 100 of what it calls candidate cities and municipalities nationwide, including 21 new major metropolitan areas.

The service provider's move in Cupertino comes at a time when it is trying to illustrate new broadband competition in order to get regulatory approval for its proposed $48.5 billion purchase of satellite carrier DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV). When that deal is complete, AT&T has promised that it will provide fiber-based broadband to 2 million locations, which it said are over and above what the company announced in April.

Other Silicon Valley and Bay Area communities that AT&T has cited on its list for consideration include San Jose, San Francisco and Mountain View, the home of Google.

AT&T has begun offering the GigaPower service in its Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth markets. It has also announced that it will bring the service to Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh-Durham and Winston-Salem, NC; Houston; Miami; Nashville, Tenn.; Overland Park, Kan.; and San Antonio.

"AT&T's decision to launch and expand the GigaPower network goes well beyond our competitors' fiber plans," Eric Boyer, senior vice president of AT&T's U-verse Internet service, wrote in an e-mail to Bloomberg. "Wiring Cupertino is a no-brainer given our presence here and Silicon Valley being the hub for technology innovation."

Google Fiber itself said in February that it is exploring plans to expand its Google Fiber wideband Internet and pay-TV service to 34 additional cities. These include a number of key California cities, such as San Jose and the surrounding area, including Mountain View, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and Palo Alto.

However, the search-engine giant has yet to announce any new fiber cities. Today, it offers service in Kansas City, and it has added Provo, Utah, and Austin, Texas, but has revealed no specific plans for the California market.

For more:
- see the release
- Bloomberg has this article

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