AT&T Launches Fiber In NC, Takes Another Swipe At Obama’s Net Neutrality Push

Telecom giant AT&T today announced the launch of its U-verse with GigaPower service in several parts of North Carolina, including Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem. The roll out of its all-fiber GigaPower network is the result of an agreement with the North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN) initiative, which is comprised of six municipalities, four leading universities, and local business leaders all with vested interested in developing high-speed Internet networks across the state.

That's what they get with the newly implemented GigaPower network, the fastest Internet available from AT&T with speeds of up to 1Gbps. With that kind of speed, users can download 25 songs in less than a second or load an HD movie in less than 36 seconds, AT&T says.

Eligible customers have a variety of plans and bundles to choose from with speeds up to 100Mbps starting at $90 per month -- upgrading to 1Gbps costs an additional $30 per month.

AT&T GigaPower

"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 North Carolina," said Venessa Harrison, president AT&T North Carolina. "U-verse with AT&T GigaPower 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."

As proud as AT&T says it is to roll out its GigaPower fiber network to North Carolina, future expansion into other territories will be limited to only those areas where the company is already committed to from its DirecTV merger.

"President Obama's proposal in early November to regulate the entire Internet under rules from the 1930s designed for voice services injects significant uncertainty into the economics underlying AT&T's investment decisions," AT&T said. "As a result, the company has paused consideration of any fiber investments that would go beyond its DirecTV merger-related commitments...until the rules are clarified."

President Obama

AT&T is referring to President Obama's open letter urging the FCC to reclassify Internet service as a utility. In the letter, he called for the FCC to "implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality," which apparently ruffled AT&T's feathers.

In response, AT&T has halted future investments into fiber network expansion, saying it's reluctant to spend the amount of money required without knowing what the new rules will be.