AT&T says it's closing in on goal of high-speed fiber service for 2 million locations

Company executives are in Austin this week for Broadband Communities Summit.

As it battles for high-speed internet customers, telecom giant AT&T says it’s well on its way to meeting its national goal of deploying fiber to 2 million new locations by the end of this year.

AT&T officials are making the announcement today at the Broadband Communities Summit, a gathering of major property owners, real estate developers and Internet providers being held in Austin today.

Eric Boyer, senior vice president for AT&T’s wired and wireless data and voice division, told the American-Statesman that the company has now reached 1.5 million locations with its fiber service.

“We’ve got a tremendous amount of momentum,” Boyer said. “It’s a milestone for us.”

AT&T’s goal to reach the 2 million mark began in April 2013 when the company announced plans to launch its first “GigaPower” service neighborhood in Austin. By December 2013, the company was operating GigaPower service in Austin.

GigaPower is now available in homes, apartments and small businesses in 20 U.S. major metro areas with plans to expand that to an additional 36 metro areas, the company said.

Of those, 400,000 multi-unit sites -- such as apartment complexes -- are on the AT&T GigaPower network today, with nearly 75 percent capable of speeds up to 1 gigabit per second. At 1-gigabit speeds, a user can download 25 songs in 1 second, a TV show in 3 seconds and a high-definition movie in less than 36 seconds, according to industry figures.

In Austin, nearly 100 apartment complexes have the AT&T GigaPower service, representing about 25,000 units in the area.

Austin is home to AT&T GigaPower’s first multidwelling properties, as the The Villas on 26th in central Austin launched the service in fall of 2014. AT&T has said successful piloting of the fiber program at a multi-dwelling property in Austin helped spur a national plan for the company to expand the service by 2015.

AT&T says demand for high-speed Internet service is at an all-time high across the Austin area, including both downtown and the suburbs.

Sales for AT&T GigaPower across the country, and particularly in Austin, have exceeded the company’s expectations, the company said.