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AT&T’s Google Fiber rival goes live in Kansas City

February 16th, 2015 at 4:50 PM
AT&T GigaPower Vs. Google Fiber

Isn’t it great what real competition can do for the home broadband market? AT&T on Monday announced that its new U-verse with AT&T GigaPower service is now available to residents in Kansas City, which just happens to be the first city where Google launched its Google Fiber service.

RELATED: Google Fiber announces its biggest, most ambitious expansion yet

Like Google Fiber, the GigaPower service will offer download speeds with a peak of 1Gbps and will cost $70 per month for standalone Internet service, just as Google Fiber does. For $120 per month, AT&T will offer 1Gbps Internet service along with a TV package that includes “free HBO, HBO GO and HD service for 36 months.” AT&T first brought GigaPower to Austin, Texas, which just happens to be another Google Fiber market — funny how that works.

However, if you’re considering taking the plunge on GigaPower, there is a catch you should know about. Ars Technica notes that unless you want AT&T to keep track of everything you do and sell that information to third-party advertisers, you’ll have to pay $29 more per month to opt out of its Internet Preferences program.

“Using the IP address assigned to each GigaPower account, AT&T scans for your AT&T Internet Preferences election,” AT&T explains. “AT&T will treat your Internet browsing activity in accordance with your election. If you chose to participate in the AT&T Internet Preferences program, your Internet traffic is routed to AT&T’s Internet Preferences web browsing and analytics platform. If you chose not to participate in the AT&T Internet Preferences program, your Internet traffic is not routed to the Internet Preferences analytics platform. 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.”

Of course, given Google’s own track record with keeping track of customers’ online activity, we’re not sure Google Fiber has a major advantage over AT&T in this respect.

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