By LAURA LOREK
Reporter with Silicon Hills News
And the winners of the battle will be local consumers and businesses.
On Monday morning, AT&T announced U-Verse with AT&T GigaPower high speed Internet service will launch in San Antonio and surrounding communities on Sept. 28th. The company did not provide pricing or details of where the service will be available yet.
AT&T is not slowing down and neither are its customers, said Renee Flores, AT&T regional vice president of external affairs.
“In San Antonio, over the past three years, AT&T has invested over $475 million to drive enhancements for coverage, speed, performance and reliability for our consumers and our businesses,” Flores said.
AT&T, which used to be headquartered in San Antonio, has more than 3,700 employees here.
In an announcement at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, executives with AT&T, Mayor Ivy Taylor, City Manager Sheryl Sculley, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce President Richard Perez and members of the City Council stood on the stage.
“With the leadership of Mayor Taylor, City Manager Sculley, this City Council, San Antonio is a tremendous example, these people behind me, of what is possible when a business friendly economic environment meets local policies that encourage investment in technology,” Flores said.
AT&T’s GigaPower is a 100 percent fiber optic network that provides speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second. That kind of connectivity allows a person to download 25 songs in one second or an online HD movie in less than a minute.
“Speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second can also have a real impact on our economic future,” Mayor Taylor said. “Super fast access to data and cloud based services aren’t a nice extra, they are now essential for anyone who wants to compete globally. And businesses seeking to relocate and expand look for state of the art technology such as AT&T’s 100 percent fiber optic GigaPower network.”
Last year, AT&T announced plans to roll out its ultra-fast Internet network and AT&T U-Verse TV service to San Antonio and 20 other major metropolitan areas. The company already provides GigaPower Internet service in Austin and it’s available in 15 cities nationwide.
Recently, Google announced plans to establish a 1 Gigabit Internet network in San Antonio. It is early on in the process of providing high speed Internet and is beginning construction on its network. But Google also provides 1 Gigabit Internet service to Austin.
With AT&T and Google providing 1 Gigabit networks in Austin and San Antonio, that makes this one of the most wired high-tech regions in the country. And that is going to drive economic growth in the high technology industry for both cities, according to city officials.
AT&T can bring a unique bundle to San Antonio around speed, mobility and value, said Larry Evans, AT&T South Texas vice president and general manager.
“Now you’re going to bring tech savvy jobs to San Antonio and they are going to have an all fiber network with high speeds,” Evans said.
Today, someone with a computer and a garage can take on a big corporation, Evans said. With speeds of 1 Gigabit per second it allows the small guys to compete, he said.
“We may see the next Uber come out of San Antonio,” Evans said.
Tech Bloc Cofounder David Heard said AT&T’s GigaPower network positions the city as a leading technology city. Tech Bloc is a community-based advocacy organization for the technology industry.
“It signifies to the world we will continue to be a major player in the high technology industry,” Heard said.
San Antonio strengths in the technology industry lie in Cloud-based services, CyberSecurity and Biotechnology, Heard said. AT&T’s high speed Internet network will help to attract new startups and existing businesses in those areas interested in doing cutting edge technology locally, he said.
“GigaPower is that next critical step we need to continue to grow as a city, as a tech city,” said Perez, President of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.
AT&T’s investment in ultra fast Internet takes San Antonio to the next level and enhances the quality of life in the community, Perez said.