Suddenlink announces 1 Gbps service, as AT&T finally boosts speeds in Austin

Suddenlink has announced its long-anticipated program to "progressively boost Internet speeds and make 1 Gbps service available to all the company's customers," the MSO said in a press release.

Based in St. Louis, Mo., Suddenlink serves 1.4 million customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia and elsewhere.

Operation GigaSpeed, as the effort has been labeled, will cost almost a quarter-billion dollars to fund, including network and in-home equipment and a total analog to digital conversion. It's happening because 1 Gbps is becoming more than just a blip on consumer broadband radar, the nation's seventh largest MSO said in the press release, emphasizing Suddenlink's more rural customer base.

"While companies like Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and AT&T (NYSE: T) are offering or planning to offer 1 gigabit service in a relatively few, selected neighborhoods in urban and large suburban cities, we will take it to small and mid-sized markets and rural areas--and in those communities it will be available to 100 percent of our customers," Jerry Kent, Suddenlink's chairman-CEO said in the release.

AT&T, for its part, said it was boosting its Austin, Texas, market speeds from 300 Mbps to a gigabit as part of its GigaPower network. Existing customers "don't need to do anything; the upgrades will happen automatically," the carrier said in a press release. AT&T is embroiled in a 1 gig battle in the Texas town, with Google and Grande Communications also claiming to deliver ultra-broadband speeds.

In addition to the broadband boost, AT&T also enhanced its U-verse TV offering with an app that provides customers with information about Austin food, entertainment and other events.

Suddenlink didn't mention anything about enhanced video service, preferring to focus on the 1 Gbps service that it expects to be nearly complete next year and into 2016. The MSO said it would communicate additional details to customers as each community is readied and when 1 Gbps speeds are available.

For more:
- Suddenlink has this press release
- and AT&T has this press release

Related articles:
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Suddenlink ready to offer 30 Mbps tier; Korea MSOs launch 4K UHD channel
Report: Google Fiber starts Austin buildout

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