The thirst for more and more Internet speed continues to grow. In a world where the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation, it could be said that home internet connection is critically important to the way we work, learn and play. To date, however, consumers have been limited to gigabit speeds, which might have seemed fast a few years ago, but today we put a cap on the things we can do.
AT&T Breaks Gig Barrier for Home Internet
On Monday, AT&T broke the gig barrier by announcing that its fiber customers can now get multi-gigabyte (GB) internet speeds, as the carrier doubles down on fiber in its broadband infrastructure. AT&T will offer symmetric 2.5GB and 5GB speed options starting this week.
AT&T is also rolling out simpler pricing for its fiber portfolio with no additional equipment costs, annual contracts, and data caps. AT&T Fiber and Business Fiber customers with a 2GB plan will pay $110 per month and $225 per month, respectively. This is ideal for small businesses or those with many connected devices at home. The 5GB option will cost $180 per month for AT&T Fiber customers and $395 per month for Business Fiber customers.
Symmetrical bandwidth can be a game-changer for video users or content creators
The notable parts of the ads are the symmetric bandwidth, as that’s a rarity with broadband. Comcast Xfinity offers 2GB download speeds, but the download is limited to 35 Mbps, which is a cable limitation. Verizon offers nearly symmetric gigabit fiber but not multi-gigabit speeds. Symmetrical bandwidth is important for video calls, games, and content creators, who upload large files to the cloud. In this case, AT&T customers would see a marked improvement in performance.
Also, I’m a big fan of transparent pricing where the cost is fixed in perpetuity. Often broadband providers offer a low introductory price and then increase the price after a year. By now, most savvy buyers know that if they call and complain, they can get a reduction in the price. Putting customers through this challenge every year is one of the reasons why companies like Comcast’s NPS score is so low. This parody SNL sketch makes it a call with Spectrum, which sounds like a typical call to your local cable provider.
AT&T’s service isn’t any better, but keeping the price fixed is at least one less reason for a customer to contact the call center. Plus, the price includes fees, equipment, and other factors that can drive up a seemingly low price. With telecom services, it’s rare that you get what you pay for, but in this case, you do.
Fiber is a proven technology
AT&T’s fiber network is reliable, secure and tested. It is used by the US government, military, first responders, and large enterprises with complex connectivity needs. More than 2.75 million American businesses currently depend on AT&T’s high-speed fiber optic connections.
However, businesses aren’t the only ones that need speed. Research cited in AT&T press materials shows that the average consumer has 13 connected devices in their home, which could rise to 32 or more devices in the near future. This includes traditional devices, such as tablets and laptops, smart TVs, streaming devices, game consoles, home appliances, smart doorbells, and more. These devices consume tons of data and require more bandwidth.
In addition, more and more people are working from home due to. Multi-gig speeds are suited to these demands and can provide the bandwidth that homes and businesses need to run a multitude of connected devices. Fiber was specifically designed for high-speed Internet, enabling high-capacity tasks like downloading large files during video calls, as well as gaming and entertainment.
AT&T’s multi-gig fiber launch is part of the carrier’s strategy to provide customers with a seamless wireless experience from a single carrier by combining its 5G network and fiber network. AT&T has also beefed up its Wi-Fi technology. Last year, the carrier launched a Wi-Fi 6-enabled, tri-band gateway to support multiple connected devices.
AT&T envisions a hyperlocal, hyperreliable, and hyperfast fiber future. The service will be available in more than 70 metro areas across the country, including Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas, which might seem like a minor number, but it’s currently only available in 5.2 million customers, or a part of the country. . AT&T will expand that number to around 30 million in 2025, which is still the minority in the country. If you’re lucky enough to be in the AT&T footprint, the service is worth a look.