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AT&T charges more for fiber internet if Google's not in your town

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Speed isn't everything when it comes to getting hooked up to the internet: competition counts for a lot as well. As AT&T rolls out its new gigabit fiber network across parts of California, Ars Technica has noted that in the cities where Google Fiber is also operating, AT&T's service is as much as $40 cheaper.

at&t charges $110 for gigabit speeds or $70 if Google fiber is available

In Cupertino, for example, where AT&T recently launched its gigabit service (named "U-verse with AT&T GigaPower"), the company is charging $110 a month for speeds "up to 1Gbps" and $80 for speeds "at 300Mbps." Compare this with the same gigabit service in Austin, where AT&T charges $70 for identical speeds. The difference? Google Fiber is operating in Austin where it also charges (you guessed it) $70 as well.

The same story seems to be true wherever you look. In Dallas, where AT&T's headquarters are located, the company charges the full $110. In North Carolina, AT&T launched its gigabit service at $120 a month, but when Google moved in, it dropped the price to $70. This is not to mention that it's also mandatory for AT&T users paying for the above mentioned gigabit speeds to sign up for "AT&T Internet Preferences" — a web monitoring service that collects users' search and browser history in order to deliver targeted adverts. The message seems to be that without competition, you not only pay more, you also give more away.