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But Rondella Hawkins, the telecommunications and regulatory affairs officer for the city of Austin, said she had never heard about AT&T's plans before Google's news came out. Hawkins was part of the original committee that put together Austin's application to become the first Google Fiber city. The city ultimately lost out to Kansas City. "Our application for Google would have been a good tip-off to the incumbents that we were eager as a community to get fiber built," Hawkins said in an interview. "But we never heard from them. Until Google announced that it was going to deploy a fiber network in Austin, I was unaware of AT&T's plans to roll out gigabit fiber to the home."Grande Communications' CEO Matt Murphy admits that without Google in the market, his company wouldn't have moved so aggressively on offering gigabit speeds. It also wouldn't be offering its service at the modest price of $65 a month, considering that the average broadband download speed sold in the US is between 20Mbps and 25Mbps for about $45 to $50 a month.

"1 gigabit per second is such a leap in terms of speeds," Murphy said, "It's nothing we would have even considered doing yet without Google in the market."Even with such a tech-centric crowd, it's hard t rex iphone case to imagine that three companies -- AT&T, Grande and Google -- decided at roughly the same time this city should be among the first to get ultra high-speed broadband, It's even harder to believe that all three players would decide to offer service that is more than 50 to 100 times faster than what they're currently offering at a cost that's only about $20 to $30 more than their average broadband package..

This is a huge leap in speed for a very small price increase, considering that AT&T currently offers 6Mbps DSL service for $35 a month. In markets where it offers its regular U-verse broadband service, AT&T charges $45 a month for 18Mbps service and $65 for a 45Mbps service. While it's clear that Google Fiber is not coming to every community, the pressure is on. It's not surprising, then, that in every city in AT&T's 22-state footprint where Google is considering deploying fiber, AT&T also plans to bring GigaPower. That's a total of 14 markets, including Austin, the Triangle region of North Carolina, and Atlanta, home to AT&T's mobility division.

Major cities not on the Google roadmap include San Francisco and Los Angeles, While t rex iphone case AT&T refuses to acknowledge that its gigabit fiber plans are answering the competitive challenge posed by Google Fiber, others say that Kansas City may have been a wake-up call, "I think all the providers have learned some valuable lessons from Google's Kansas City deployment," said Julie Huls, president and CEO of the Austin Technology Council, Kansas City went live with Google Fiber in November 2012, "Speed to market and speed to deployment really matters and will determine the winners in a market, So it doesn't pay to be a laggard."Google wasn't the first company to use fiber to deliver high-speed broadband, but it was the first company to offer such high speeds at $70 a month, It was also the first to come up with a business plan that requires participation from the city government and community..

Google specifically asked cities to cut the red tape required to make deployment more efficient and economical. And it asked communities to rally support and commit residents to subscribe to the service before it agreed to install the expensive infrastructure. "What Google recognized that others didn't is that Americans want to have the best communications infrastructure," Gig.U's Levin said. "When you say to a community, 'Who wants fiber and a chance to have the most advanced network in the country and possibly the world?' you get a whole bunch of hands going up."AT&T's executives admit that Google has made it easier for AT&T and others to work with cities where it wants to deploy its own Gigabit fiber service.

"Since Google Fiber came on the scene, we've seen a significant shift in how municipalities view network operators," said Eric Boyer, senior vice president of U-verse, "They see how Kansas City was able to work with Google and now, they're willing to do that with other providers."Specifically, cities such as Austin are trying to speed up the permit and inspections processes, "In the past, certain permitting processes cost us millions of dollars," said Eric Small, vice president of Fiber broadband planning for AT&T, "But now the city is interested in working with us to reduce those expenses."Other broadband operators have built networks capable of delivering 1Gbps service, Cable operators, which use a different network technology, have already demonstrated download speeds at that level, Verizon t rex iphone case Communications, which was the first major broadband provider to install a full fiber network, has stopped short of delivering 1Gbps service, even though it is capable of delivering such speeds..

Cable operators and Verizon have said that customers don't need or want a service at those speeds. "We're continuing to see a growing interest for faster broadband among our customer base," Bill Kula, a spokesman for Verizon, said in an email. "However, widespread adoption of 1Gbps is not evident as of yet."Indeed, today very few Americans have connections at that speed, but demand for broadband itself is increasing. Pew Research found in its most recent survey, conducted in September, that about 70 percent of Americans have broadband service, which is up from 66 percent the previous year. But Pew and the Federal Communications Commission have a very low benchmark for what constitutes broadband: download speeds of 4Mbps and uploads of 1Mbps.

To put this in perspective: a single DVD-quality Netflix movie requires a broadband connection of about 3Mbps, You need speeds of at least 5Mbps if you want to stream that movie in high-definition, With a 1Gbps connection you could stream at least five HD videos at the same time and still have plenty of bandwidth to surf the web, check email, and upload pictures to Facebook, Also, with a 1Gbps connection you can simply do things much faster, For instance, you could download an t rex iphone case entire HD movie in about 33 seconds..