Google Fiber launched in Kansas City, Missouri in September 2012, and now AT&T is looking to creep in and compete toe-to-toe with its own ultra high-speed fiber network. AT&T’s U-Verse with GigaPower network is launching not only in Kansas City, but also “parts of Leawood, Lenexa, Olathe, Overland Park, Kan. and in surrounding communities located throughout the metro area.”
"We're proud to launch in these cities as the first locations where we will offer ultra-high speeds to local consumers and employers in the Kansas City area," said AT&T Kansas president Mike Scott. "The AT&T GigaPower network will help encourage economic development in the area by facilitating a new wave of innovation through enhanced opportunities for education, health, research and small business growth."
AT&T will offer 1Gbps Internet for $70 per month and an Internet and TV package for $120 per month. This matches the pricing that Google offers for its Fiber packages. Google, however, doesn’t provide home phone service, so it can’t match AT&T’s third bundle that pairs 1Gbps Internet, TV, and Voice service for $150 per month.
All of this seems relatively mundane and to the point, right? Well, not exactly. The $70 price that AT&T’s quotes for standalone Internet service is comes with an added “bonus” — user tracking. That’s right; AT&T will track all of your Internet activity so that it can deliver targeted ads to your devices. The fine print in AT&T’s documentation on GigaPower Internet Preferences states:
Receive our U-verse with AT&T GigaPower Premier Offer by choosing AT&T Internet Preferences. When you select AT&T Internet Preferences, we can offer you our best pricing on GigaPower because you let us use your individual Web browsing information, like the search terms you enter and the web pages you visit, to tailor ads and offers to your interests.
If you don’t want the “privilege” of AT&T tracking your activity using the base Internet package, you will have to pay an additional $29 per month to turn off the functionality. Reading through AT&T’s documentation, it doesn’t appear that the tracking is enabled on the two, higher-priced bundle packages (we’ve reached out to AT&T for clarification on this point).