Why Google Fiber Fans Are Rejoicing Over AT&T’s High-Speed Internet Announcement

A map of AT&T's GigaPower cities and prospective metro areas. Credit: ATT.com

A map of AT&T’s GigaPower cities and prospective metro areas. Credit: ATT.com

Nashville is now one of five cities in the country that will carry AT&T’s high-speed internet, called GigaPower.

This comes months after Google started to eye Nashville for its own gigabit-speed internet, Google Fiber, which generated quite a bit of buzz.

“Who wouldn’t be excited about fast internet?” said Alex Curtis, a self-described techie enthusiast who rallied support for Nashville fiber-optic Internet on Twitter.

But even though his excitement started with Google, Curtis says it’s the competition between companies that he really wants to see.

People are typically frustrated with their internet service providers because customers usually don’t have the option to leave, he says. They may have only one or two providers that serve their home. Competition shakes up the playing field — and he sees Google Fiber as the instigator of that.

A map of Google Fiber cities and prospective metro areas. Credit: Fiber.Google.com.

A map of Google Fiber cities and prospective metro areas. Credit: Fiber.Google.com.

“It hopefully brings faster speed at lower cost,” Curtis says. “We’ve seen in other cities — Google’s made announcements, or at least hopeful announcements, and then AT&T or Comcast both kind of try to put effort into sweetening the deals and making their broadband faster.”

Bob Corney, a spokesman for AT&T Tennessee, didn’t say directly how much Google Fiber influenced AT&T’s decision to come here. But he says the company is in a competitive industry.

“The reality is we’re responding to the demands of customers, and customers are letting us know, we’ve got a need for speed,” he says.

AT&T isn’t saying yet when GigaPower will be available.

Google Fiber will decide whether it’s expanding to Nashville by the end of the year. A spokeswoman said AT&T’s announcement will not influence Google’s plans.

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