#at&t (T) is not rolling over in response to a competitive threat from Google (GOOG) as the search giant launches a high-performance #fiber network. Google, claiming that it gives consumers speeds up to 100x faster than conventional broadband #internet access, has been offering service in #kansas city, Kansas; Austin, Texas; and Provo, Utah. There is an enormity of tasks and requirements in order to make the program a success, including exorbitant capital needs, infrastructure, and negotiations to obtain governments’ approval. Long-term viability is uncertain. It does appear that competition is helping the marketplace, as #at&t offers improved products on its same budget.
In #kansas city, #google fiber is a residential-only service; however, plans are to expand to hospitals, schools and public libraries soon. A recent Sanford Bernstein survey has found that high percentages of residents in select neighborhoods are paying $70 per month for stand alone, ultra-fast Internet connectivity to the “Fiberhood.” Perhaps due to past disappointing customer service experiences, most clients are recommending the service. Also, signup rates are approximately 75% in medium to high income purlieus, and forecast to result in 50% of residents paying for Google’s connectivity and another 10% enjoying a free package.
Meanwhile AT&T is active. It has announced a plan to bring “Blazing fast” Internet service to Kansas City businesses. It also intends to launch U-Verse with GigaPower to 100 domestic markets, including virtually all locations where Google is known to be considering market entry. Notably, there is an Internet-only option to Austin residents at a subscription cost of $70 per month.
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