AT&T just announced an agreement to install a fiber network with up to 1 gigabit speeds in the city of Winston-Salem, NC, beating competitor Google Fiber to the state. The build will begin over the next few weeks, with no date set for launch.

North Carolina was proactive in getting fiber. Six cities and four universities participated in the North Carolina Next Generation Network consortium, which issued a request for proposals in early 2013.

AT&T is aiming to install fiber in the Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte, and Greensboro metro areas as well. Google Fiber also has its eye on Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte.

The two companies are in a race to install fiber

The two companies are in a race to install fiber networks across the US. So far, AT&T's fiber network is only available in Austin, TX, where it started rolling out before Google's network. Google Fiber is available in Kansas City, KS, and Provo, UT, and is working on rolling out in Austin.

The competition is great for customers, who may soon see speeds up to 10 times as fast as they're used to. How long that will take — and in how many neighborhoods it'll actually be available — is another story.