Just days ago, AT&T announced that they are finally delivering on their promise to bring gigabit broadband to Silicon Valley, as U-Verse with GigaPower is now available in parts of Apple’s home town of Cupertino, CA. And while that sounds like great news for the hordes of tech savvy residents, the price point may prove to be a bit too much to swallow.
In Kansas City, where GigaPower launched in February, AT&T is charging $70 per month for gigabit internet— but unfortunately for Cupertino residents, that’s $40 less than the $110 they will have to shell out for the service. The likely explanation for the price hike is the fact that GigaPower is not currently competing with Google Fiber in Silicon Valley, while it is competing in regions like Kansas City. The reminder here is that, generally, competition keeps consumers’ wallets from crying out.
Luckily more competition is coming with the news that another company is bringing multi-gigabit internet to the table. Comcast announced today that they will be offering their new “Gigabit Pro” Internet service to more than 1.5 million customers in Atlanta next month. The service will offer 2 gigabit-per second speed over fiber-to-home connections. The service is also said to be “symmetrical”, meaning that upload speeds will be just as fast as download speeds.
In the press release for the new service, Doug Guthrie, Vice President of Comcast’s South Region stated:
“Our approach is to offer the most comprehensive roll-out of multi-gigabit service to the most homes as quickly as possible, not just to certain neighborhoods. We already provide the fastest speeds to the most homes and businesses in Atlanta, and access to Gigabit Pro will give our customers all the broadband capacity they need to stay ahead of future technologies and innovations.”
This is an interesting change for a company that not two years ago said most Americans don’t need gigabit-Internet service. Comcast has been delivering multi-gig internet since 2010, but only for businesses. This news marks the first time the company will make similar speeds available to homes.
Although Comcast is rolling out the service in Atlanta, it plans on offering the service to 18 million Americans by the end of the year. Customers will need to be “within close proximity of Comcast’s fiber network” and the service requires “installation of professional-grade equipment.”
As of right now there is no word on how much the service will cost, but it’s probably safe to assume that it won’t come cheap.