back to article AT&T suddenly finds demand for 1Gbps fiber in Kansas City – just after Google arrived

While the majority of Americans only have one choice of 25Mbps+ broadband provider, citizens of Kansas City – the Midwest's most connected hotspot – now have a fourth option: AT&T. "We've moved quickly to bring more competition to the Kansas City area for blazing-fast Internet speeds and best-in-class television service," said …

  1. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Is this for Unlimited?

    As in all you can eat? Or as in unlimited for the first 500mb the get throttled to death.

    As for paying 29$ a Month for Privacy I wonder if they can still sniff me if a decide to use a VPN Service. As for Ads? Well theres always some kind of Adblocker Software to be found?

    1. Knoydart
      Big Brother

      Re: Is this for Unlimited?

      You will proberly get hit by the Verizonlike super cookie so they get thier $29 per month pound of digital flesh

    2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Is this for Unlimited?

      I think its unlimited, considering that its probably 1Gb/s down 10MB up or something like that.

      However to your second point... per the article:

      "It remains to be seen how many of buyers are wowed by the prospect of paying $348 a year for privacy. "

      I think that El Reg is being a bit unfair. They are matching Googles price and most likely the same T's and C's where Google is monitoring the traffic for their $70.00 offer.

      So why get irate with AT&T when they are being a bit more transparent about their offering than Google.

  2. DougS Silver badge

    I wonder if Google would allow you to opt out for $29?

    Having access to all of a person's traffic to feed into their ad slinging machine, rather than just the traffic that hits Google (directly, or indirectly via doubleclick etc.) earns them more than $29/month?

    One would assume so, since if AT&T can generate $29/month off this data Google ought to be able to generate a lot more, given their status as the kings of internet advertising.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wonder if Google would allow you to opt out for $29?

      No, Google is doing what AT&T is going to do regardless, slurp data. An important part is missing from this article that exposes the fact that AT&T is still going to slurp, even if you pay!!

      "AT&T may collect and use web browsing information for other purposes, as described in our Privacy Policy, even if you do not participate in the Internet Preferences program."

      Google is already doing that. AT&T wants you to pay them to be just like Google :-/. WTF happened to our country....

      NOTE: other articles point out that AT&T is not offering a $400 1 time payment for 5mbps for life like Google does. So, I guess we are just left to pick the lesser of the 2 devils while our privacy is ransomed off regardless :-/

      United States of Business (Still though, no bombs over head :-)

      "One would assume...". Actually, while I agree, one could also assume that if paying them to use extra resources is logical, then them paying me to not use extra resources should be even better (but where's that option?).

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: I wonder if Google would allow you to opt out for $29?

        Our country has a (mostly) free economy. Google is free* to offer you internet service on the terms it chooses and you are free to accept it on that basis, or not. If you don't like their terms of service, stay with Comcast. Some of us have no better choice.

        *Pending possible future FCC intervention.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I wonder if Google would allow you to opt out for $29?

          Our country? Wait, our country also (once upon a time) used to value privacy of its citizens. Do you really thing that Google and everyone else isn't going to collect data on you, and then resell it to China, Russia, India,....?

          The fact that you can offer something doesn't mean it is ethical. For instance, if you steal me a Diamond, I'll steal you a SSN number. The only reason that appears "unethical" is because there is laws against it. Sadly, I don't see laws stopping unethical practices of corporations (In fact they get bail out money!! BONUS!!).

          Of course the concept of "free to accept it" can be spun another, non-tin foil hat way. How much freedom do you have in the price of your gasoline...do you accept those terms?

      2. pureabsolute

        Re: I wonder if Google would allow you to opt out for $29?

        You say business like its a 4 letter word. There is a reason that Verizon and now Google are eating the cable company's lunch, with the consumer benefiting. There is also a reason that these companies can justify the capital expense of the install.

        And there is obviously a market for these business models. Just like there is a market for Broadcast TV, which is free as long as they can serve up 20% of the content as commercials.

        Your last point -- they do pay you to not use extra resources -- you can have a lower price, which means there is more money in your pocket. That 'logically' makes sense -- it is the reciprocal to paying more for more service...

    2. goldcd

      Where on earth did you get the idea it brought in $29 a month?

      It gets them less than $29 a month, as that's what they charge you to opt out.. that's all we can conclude.

    3. jnffarrell1

      Re: I wonder if Google would allow you to opt out for $29?

      There is no end to the snarky PR that ATT is willing to put out. There is no way that ATT really expects to to be able to invade privacy like Samsung.

  3. ratfox Silver badge

    Mind-boggling

    If you needed any more proof that more competition is necessary, you have it. AT&T is rolling out fiber in the only city where it is already available. How useful.

    1. phil dude
      WTF?

      Re: Mind-boggling

      And this is the big lie about $CORPS. Doesn't matter which but the definition of $PROFIT vs $INVESTMENT is completely arbitrary - except where it isn't ($SUBSIDY or $TAXBREAK). For example, Google moves into a city and gives them fibre internet at $79./mth.

      AT&T all of a sudden takes $X in possible profit turns it in $Y investment. Best if $Y >> $Z (installed market), because they might put a few competitors out of business.

      It is all a sham, but then again hard to say how else business could run. Except you and I as individuals need to spend $H to live per/year say. But you cannot take your income subtract expenses+$H and declare $0 profit. Humans get taxed on gross income. Businesses get taxed on net profit.

      So no surprise, AT&T is a business and looking after their shareholders (well the ones with names on the parking spaces anyway), this is good business. Just so long as they have *some* presence in this market, they can create PR confusion over what is going on.

      And yes, I'm waiting for Google fibre to come here, but so far it is 170 miles west of here.....

      P.

      1. pureabsolute

        Re: Mind-boggling

        Why is making profit a sham? Barring a bailout from the Government (GM, Ford, Chrysler anyone), when AT&T chooses poorly, they lose. If they aren't losing, they win. And by definition they are then correct (there is the issue of opportunity costs.., but that's extra). Any other questions on how capitalism works?

        As for Taxation -- stop voting for the people that value one type of 'income' vs 'another'. Although I fully support taxing government income, which is what the current tax system does well.

        1. phil dude
          Joke

          Re: Mind-boggling

          My point is there are business decisions that change the profits of the firm without changing anything else.

          You as an individual cannot deduct the "cost of living", whereas Biz can.

          Hence, you might be able to choose to buy margarine or butter to live, but that doesn't change your tax.

          Biz can and does. Hence selling themselves coffee or licenses or whatever.

          I like to think of it as a sort of thermodynamics.

          Tax is the difference between total amount of money less expenses and the proportion moved to an independent subsidiary.

          Money is conserved, but distributed in an "efficient" manor.

          CEO's call this "a bonus" when they distribute the profits to themselves.

          P.

    2. pureabsolute

      Re: Mind-boggling

      There is a reason that AT&T is failing -- they only know how to react. In this case, they are attempting to kill off Google's test phase, and perhaps hoping they'll just go away. I assume. AT&T doesn't see that Google is a long term player that sets its goals pro-actively (one of the few business terms that I approve of). Add this to their deep pockets, and AT&T doesn't stand a chance.

      BTW, T-Mobile is eating their lunch on the cell phone side of the equation. AT&T is caught between the Verizon juggernaut and the T-Mobile outside the box thinkers.

      My point -- another company would attack faster and with more aggression on markets that Google has yet to enter into, even if they started off more slowly. Unfortunately, I'm moving into an area with exactly one third tier provider -- Cox.

      Lastly, I also wonder how much of this 'competition' is due to the city encouraging it via low fees or easy access -- I know Boston (MA, USA) didn't allow verizon to move in without forcing them to wire up all the poor areas -- which of course meant that verizon didn't move in...

  4. Bob Dole (tm)

    This type of behavior is why most US citizens have no trust in any of them.

    It's also why most of us would like to see them chained with regulation. Don't like title II? Just wait, it will get worse.

  5. Ossipon

    And not all of the Metro either

    I could do a rhapsody on the "joy" of being an ATT customer. All I want to say is:

    1. It is only being offered to those who live in McMansionland. None of it for the rest of us tech proletatarians in the rest of the KC metro area

    2. They push their U-Verse model of the world which is still just just glorified DSL+

    3. They likely will still force their ludicrous 250Gb Cap and 10Gb on each overage. Think how quick you get to that ceiling with a 1Mbit or even a 300Mbit connection.

    For me, I am in a purgatory waiting for my Google Fix. Cannot wait. (Supposedly June) I really really REALLY want to drop the glories of a ATT Internet connection.

  6. 4d3fect

    Nice bandwidth if you can get it

    If I could get it I would. (Being out here in the sticks, ~50Mbps is about as good as I can do.) AdBlock Plus, NoScript & such would take care of the most objectionable ad stuff.

    And I just automatically assume ALL ISPs slurp your data.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nice bandwidth if you can get it

      Only 50Mbps? You poor poor munchkin.

    2. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Nice bandwidth if you can get it

      Isn't 50Mbps the same thing as a 5Meg Line? I thought that was considered ~faily fast~. Heck Round here the Cable Co's will only get you around twice that speed. 100mbps (or, 10Megs)...

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Nice bandwidth if you can get it

        Hint:

        Mbps - Megabits per second

        MB/s - Megabytes per second

        Meg - name of a cat

  7. sisk Silver badge

    Kinda sad actually

    When you've got 4 competitors offering the same thing, one of them is Google, and all four are in the running for best (and worst) offering it's really kinda crap all around.

  8. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. pureabsolute

      Re: Cartel tactics?

      They will eventually if they want to survive.

      Which is where you come in -- stop the you vs them mentality. You are supposed to see the opportunity that AT&T is leaving on the table, take it, and eat AT&T's lunch. Instead you are gonna whine about AT&T not giving you what you want. Fortunately for you there are people like Google that want to eat AT&T's lunch, and if they want to eat it in more places you'll get 1Gb service in more places.

      I have no problem laughing at AT&T's bad business... This reg article did a great job doing just that. Just pointing out the attitude difference between yourself, and Google.

      Also, competion in a market is the opposite of a cartel. If it were a cartel, at&t would get into an agreement with Google and go after markets that google perhaps doesn't want to enter yet. Not that I have a problem with this... Just pointing out how it doesn't apply here..

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We need Judge Green again!

    It is hard not to conclude that there is a "gentlemen's" agreement between the large Telcos to avoid a competitive push for higher speed connections. They are effectively an oligopoly.

    Perhaps we need the Justice Department to explore if they have violated the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

    Verizon's CEO told Congress that the market was satisfied with the current slow speeds and that their was little demand for higher speeds. Next time he should actual conduct some market research before leading people astray!

    1. pureabsolute

      Re: We need Judge Green again!

      Verizon *is* doing market research. I just got 50m/50m for 45 / month from them (no bundles). Not sure if I'd go for 1g/1g at almost twice the price (i am not a gamer). Mix that in with people who just can't afford it, and perhaps they are right. However, if Google does come in and blows everyone away without taking a loss (this one is key..), then Verizon's market research might be proven wrong.

      Also, about 5 years ago $45/month would have gotten me 10mbs down, 256k up. Not quite sure where you think competition is failing...

      Have

      1. NumptyScrub

        Re: We need Judge Green again!

        Verizon *is* doing market research. I just got 50m/50m for 45 / month from them (no bundles). Not sure if I'd go for 1g/1g at almost twice the price (i am not a gamer).

        Just to put that into perspective for you, you are paying $45/mo for 50Mbps, and the fibre offering detailed here is $70/mo for 1000Mbps. That's $25/mo for an extra 950Mbps, or from another perspective, a net loss for Verizon of $830/mo for selling 1Gbps of client bandwidth as a $70 package instead of 20 lots of 50Mbps packages.

        You may only use 5GB of data per month regardless of your actual line speed, but a gigabit line will mean far less time spent waiting for that data you do use to get to you. You would also be doing consumers a favour getting the gigabit connection, and forcing Verizon to start pricing the slower packages more in line with the actual costs of provision; even $10/mo for 50Mbit ($200 per gigabit) makes them more overall ;)

        Protip; once they reprice the slower connections, you can switch back and benefit from a package that is quick enough for you, but at a fraction of the old cost :D

    2. sisk Silver badge

      Re: We need Judge Green again!

      It is hard not to conclude that there is a "gentlemen's" agreement between the large Telcos to avoid a competitive push for higher speed connections.

      Not really. Upgrading infrastructure is expensive, more so than just building new infrastructure sometimes, and if they charged enough to cover their costs they'd lose customers to the competition. As such they gain no competitive advantage by upgrading past a certain point.

      Verizon's CEO told Congress that the market was satisfied with the current slow speeds and that their was little demand for higher speeds.

      The market IS satisfied with current internet speeds for the most part. Remember, it's dominated by people who don't know any better and think that a 20m downstream is fast.

  11. tempemeaty
    Mushroom

    AT & effing T

    If AT & effing T wants to log my activity, then their internet connection better be for free.

    Does the blue-death-star logo'd internet provider respects anyone?

  12. Mikel

    Hey AT&T, this is Comcast and Time Warner

    You throw your hat in on our Google Fiber cities and we'll throw ours in on yours and maybe united we can make it unprofitable for them. We'll blanket the cities in advertising and lock everyone up in long contracts. Maybe they'll give up.

  13. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    VPN?

    I wonder how much VPN use that $29/month "privacy fee" would get you?

    A smart enough router and you could stuff some high-bandwidth but low interest things like YouTube direct on AT&T's network and everything else via the VPN.

  14. Reg T.

    Privacy as always -

    likely will include a trunk room in Atlanta and other stations where all packets are analyzed by the NSA.

    Worth $30/month extra for sure!

  15. Maya12
    Unhappy

    If only

    Where I live there is only AT&T for choice for DSL with 3MB cap. I'm one of the lucky ones, a mile further from town, there is only dial up or satellite internet.

    We have no choice, there is no free market, there is monopoly, and AT&T owns it, and the government here likes it that way.

    The local electric cooperative is looking at building out fiber on their power lines, I can only hope the initiative goes forward, because that's the only way the rural area here will get any kind of decent internet, without the caps on wireless and satellite.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i can hardly wait

    When some little kid get a message that says...

    Oh you like My Little Pony

    Have some bestiality....

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