AT&T May Not Really Have a Fiber Network in the Works

PatrickJS

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AT&T May Not Really Have a Fiber Network in the Works

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AT&T has announced it will be bringing gigabit fiber connections to 38 more markets, but there may little more to this than the announcement itself.

Keep this firmly in the unconfirmed rumor category for now, but it could be worth paying attention to: according to TechDirt [https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20151209/06231533028/att-has-fooled-press-public-into-believing-building-massive-fiber-network-that-barely-exists.shtml], AT&T seems to be conning the public and the media into believing the company is building an immense fiber optic network, while the truth may be far less impressive than that.

On its face, this isn't especially unusual behavior from anyone, let alone a major communications corporation. Let's examine their press release a little more closely, though [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/142004-Comcast-VP-Admits-300GB-Internet-Data-Caps-Have-No-Technical-Purpose]:

"AT&T announced today it is planning to expand the availability of ultra-fast speeds through AT&T GigaPower to homes, apartments and small businesses in parts of 38 additional metros across the United States - which will total at least 56 metros served. With the launch of our ultra-fast Internet service in parts of 2 of these metros today - Los Angeles and West Palm Beach - AT&T GigaPower is now available in 20 of the nation's largest metros."

Note that nowhere does the company state exactly when these ultra-fast speeds are coming. Furthermore, nowhere in the press release does it state that AT&T is actually targeting areas where fiber is already installed by other companies, making their costs negligible, and their announcement being that they are offering a service they should already have been offering. AT&T goes on to say it will bring these impressive speeds to 14 million locations, but offers no timeline whatsoever. To quote TechDirt, "That means it could cherry pick a few hundred thousand University condos and housing developments per year and be wrapping up this not-so-epic fiber deployment by 2040 or so. [https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20151209/06231533028/att-has-fooled-press-public-into-believing-building-massive-fiber-network-that-barely-exists.shtml]" The internet of the future, indeed.

There is a lot of "could" and "should" in there, it must be said. If there is a lesson to be taken from all of this, it's that companies something release press releases mostly for the sake of releasing press releases. If there is another lesson, it's that if you want gigabit, fiber-optic internet, it may easier to move to a city where Google has already installed it, than wait for your internet service provider to bring it to you.

Source: TechDirt [https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20151209/06231533028/att-has-fooled-press-public-into-believing-building-massive-fiber-network-that-barely-exists.shtml]

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Albino Boo

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In shock news Press release is written in PR language cleared by the legal department to prevent getting sued. In other news water in wet.
 

Barbas

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I thought I remembered that shitty, annoying, shitty company being an annoying and shitty back in the 90s. Shame they're still alive.
 

Pyrian

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Barbas said:
I thought I remembered that shitty, annoying, shitty company being an annoying and shitty back in the 90s. Shame they're still alive.
They're really not, strictly speaking. They were bought out, but the company that bought them out retained their name.
 

Callate

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So in other words, the country more or less responsible for creating the Internet will most likely continue to pay more for lower Internet speeds than any of a number of other countries.

But at least I can overpay for medicine and enjoy a patchwork public transit and antiquated railway system.
 

iseko

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Huh. I did not know fiber optics were not already a mainstream thing in america. 98% of my country has direct access to a fiber optics line.
 

Mortuorum

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albino boo said:
In shock news Press release is written in PR language cleared by the legal department to prevent getting sued. In other news water in wet.
How can you tell AT&T is lying? They issued a press release.
 

Scow2

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iseko said:
Huh. I did not know fiber optics were not already a mainstream thing in america. 98% of my country has direct access to a fiber optics line.
Unfortunately, America is technologically backward when it comes to infrastructure. Free market seems to be great at innovating, inventing, and improving ideas and services, but terrible at large-scale distribution of them. Especially with the U.S.'s wonky anti-trust laws (Not saying that the idea behind anti-trust laws are bad. Just that the ones that we have tend to be counterproductive to the goal they're supposed to be working for)
 
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I've got Gigabit speeds in my city. From an ISP, not Google. Suddenlink in Lubbock (in fairness, it's a college town). Still pretty expensive though. $107 for 1Gbps. U-Verse, meanwhile, charges the same rates for 18 Mbps (their max) that Suddenlink does for 50 Mbps.

That said, they got bought by some European company, so who knows if they'll continue expanding Gigabit speeds.
 

Strazdas

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you mean AT&T is going to continue not providing the basic services that were available elsewhere over 10 years ago? Color me surprised!