AT&T has announced it will launch its own super-fast Internet service, “GigaPower”, in Kansas City to rival Google’s Fiber program.
Google Fiber once promised internet speeds 75-100X faster than cable or DSL, but only time will tell how GigaPower compares as far as quality.
Essentially, GigaPower is exactly the same price as Google Fiber, an affordable $70 a month, however, there is a bit of a catch when it comes to AT&T’s gigabit offering.
In order to not be included in AT&T’s “Internet Preferences” program, or to opt out so to speak, AT&T is requesting an added $29 a month from customers. This extra monthly fee will ensure “the webpages you visit, the time you spend on each, the links or ads you see and follow, and the search terms you enter” will not be recorded for targeted ad data.
The $70 service, however, will record browsing data, even though the preferences program “works independently of your browser’s privacy settings regarding cookies, do-not-track, and private browsing. If you opt-in to AT&T Internet Preferences, AT&T will still be able to collect and use your web browsing information independent of those settings.”
Google Fiber, on the other hand, does not track the URLs of websites you visit and guarantees the content of your communications are safe, the company says — “except with your consent or to meet any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request.”
It is worth noting that Google already tracks your every move through its numerous web services, so Fiber not taking the AT&T approach makes perfect sense.
One knock against Fiber is the one-time $300 construction fee to set it up, but lightning-fast Internet seems worth it in the long run. Not to mention, Google Fiber currently offers free 5 Mbps Internet access for those that either don’t have, or can’t afford gigabit Internet, an incentive AT&T’s GigaPower service does not include.