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AT&T beats Google to high speed fiber in Austin

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austin u-verse at&t
austin u-verse at&t

Residents of Austin in eligible neighborhoods can now sign up for AT&T's super fast fiber internet and TV service, called U-verse. That means the telecom has kept its promise and beat competitor Google Fiber to the city. Google has said it will bring fiber to Austin in mid-2014.

AT&T claims to offer starting speeds of up to 300 mbps, 20 times faster than what most residents are used to, with a gigabit option on the way. Customers who sign up now will be automatically upgraded to the gigabit service for free.

Like Google Fiber, residents will be able to vote to bring the service to their neighborhoods. The service is being offered at $70 and $99 tiers for internet, with an addition $50 for TV.

There's just one catch. Ars Technica notes that the $70 price is only available if customers opt in to allow AT&T to monitor browsing information, "like the search terms you enter and the web pages you visit," in order to serve targeted ads. Pay more, and the snooping goes away.