AT&T pre-empts Comcast 2 Gbps threat by launching 1-Gig service in Chicago suburbs

AT&T (NYSE: T) is taking a proactive step to get ahead of Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) 2 Gbps broadband plans by launching its 1 Gbps GigaPower fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) service in the Chicago suburbs.

Initially serving parts of Elgin, Oswego, Plainfield, Skokie, Yorkville and surrounding communities located throughout the Chicago metro area, AT&T plans to extend the service to Chicago this summer.

What's interesting about this service launch is that they will eventually have an even bigger threat in Comcast, which recently hatched plans to offer its 2 Gig GigaBit pro service in Atlanta. It also plans to serve nearly 3 million California homes with the service beginning in June. Comcast has not named the Chicago metro as one of the targets for the 2 Gig GigaBit pro service yet, but it is expected to enter the market eventually as part of its plans to extend the service to more of its markets.

In Atlanta and California, Comcast has not revealed what it will charge for the service but it expects to make it available to 1.5 million customers initially and ultimately extend the service to a total of 18 million homes by the end of 2015. Comcast is taking a two-pronged strategy to its 2 Gbps service strategy by using a mix of its existing HFC cable via DOCSIS 3.1 technology and FTTP technology.

One of the key differences that separate AT&T from Comcast is usage caps. AT&T's 1-Gig service also imposes a 1,000 gigabyte usage limit. Google Fiber does not implement usage caps on its FTTP offerings and Comcast has also said it won't impose any usage caps on its Gigabit Pro service.

Similar to other recent launches of the service it has conducted in Atlanta and Cupertino, Calif., eligible U-verse with GigaPower customers can choose among three plans: single, double or triple play bundle offerings.

With the U-verse High Speed Internet Premier, consumers can get up to 1 Gbps beginning as low as $120 a month, or speeds at 100 Mbps as low as $90 a month, with a one-year price guarantee.

The U-verse High Speed Internet Premier + TV dual play bundle offers Internet speeds up to 1 Gbps and qualifying TV service starting as low as $150 a month, or speeds at 100 Mbps and qualifying TV service as low as $120 a month, with a one-year price guarantee.

Finally, U-verse High Speed Internet Premier + TV + Voice provides Internet speeds up to 1 Gbps with qualifying TV service and Unlimited U-verse Voice starting as low as $180 a month, or speeds at 100 Mbps with qualifying TV service and Unlimited U-verse Voice as low as $150 a month, with a two-year price guarantee.

For more:
- see the release

Special report: Gigabit Wars: The best prices for 1 Gbps service from ILECs, MSOs and municipal providers

Related articles:
Google Fiber's presence pressures AT&T to adjust 1 Gig pricing plans
AT&T to battle Comcast, Google Fiber with 1-Gig service in Atlanta
AT&T lights up 1 Gig service in Cupertino, Calif.
AT&T challenges Google Fiber, Consolidated with 1 Gbps in the Kansas City area
AT&T targets 100 cities for its fiber-based broadband service
 

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