AT&T could get a lot more serious about rivaling Google Fiber. The service provider is beginning to investigate the potential for expanding its GigaPower internet service into up to 21 new major metropolitan areas, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami. The announcement does not mean that all of these cities will definitely be seeing AT&T's one-gigabit-per-second fiber service in the near future though — instead, AT&T is only announcing that it will begin discussions with city leaders in each of these areas about a possible launch.

AT&T is looking for communities with "solid investment cases and policies"

"We’re interested in working with communities that appreciate the value of the most advanced technologies and are willing to encourage investment by offering solid investment cases and policies," Lori Lee, an AT&T home solutions executive, says in a statement.

In total, AT&T says that it's now looking at up to 100 potential cities and municipalities, with the remaining major new names including Atlanta, Augusta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, Greensboro, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Nashville, Oakland, Orlando, San Antonio, San Diego, St. Louis, and San Jose. The service is currently available only in Austin and is expected to begin rolling out in Dallas this summer.


Maps showing cities where AT&T (left) and Google (right) offer and are exploring offering gigabit internet service.

The expansion appears designed to continue GigaPower's chase of Google Fiber, exploring many of the same cities that Google too is investigating, including Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, and San Jose. Though Google Fiber is currently available in more cities, AT&T has now announced that it's exploring some big locations where Google hasn't yet thrown its hat in the ring. None of that will make a difference if neither service provider actually makes it into these big new cities, but the race is clearly on to expand gigabit internet service — and both AT&T and Google are putting even their most tentative plans out there for us to follow along.