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AT&T jumps on Google's bandwagon with fiber bits of its own

Austin will be rich in fiber optic cables

Well that didn't take long.

Shortly after Google announced its plans to bring its gigabit internet and TV service, called Google Fiber, to Austin, Texas by mid-2014, AT&T piggybacked by revealing its own intent to build a fiber optic infrastructure in the exact same city, one that's also capable of delivering speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second.

The development is part of its Project VIP expansion, a $14 billion, three-year initiative that focuses on the expansion of 4G LTE, the carrier's wired IP broadband network and fiber deployment for businesses, among other things.

We tried to squeeze more details out of AT&T, such as when a roll out would happen and specific services it plans to offer, but the company told us it has nothing new to announce beyond its press release.

What we do know

AT&T didn't shy away from mentioning Google Fiber, despite the fact that the service will be a direct competitor.

"AT&T's expanded fiber plans in Austin anticipate it will be granted the same terms and conditions as Google on issues such as geographic scope of offerings, rights of way, permitting, state licenses and any investment incentives," the release read.

Someone doesn't want to be treated differently. In fact, AT&T has a record of trailing in Google Fiber's footsteps, as The Verge noted that after it deployed in Kansas City, both Ma Bell and Time Warner attempted to reach a "parity agreement" with city officials to get similar incentives to ones given to Google.

According to AT&T, the carrier has invested $98 billion in capital over the last five years in U.S. communities, more than any other public firm.

"[AT&T] remains committed to working with any metropolitan community to reach agreement on incentives to improve the climate and speed of overall telecommunications infrastructure investment - facilitating both wired and wireless broadband access," its release read.

Any other U.S. cities looking for some fiber?

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle is a Senior Content Writer at 8x8. She was previously an editor at TechRadar, a leading consumer tech news and reviews website. Now she’s focused on helping small businesses reach their goals.