AT&T is rolling out 2Gbps and 5Gbps speed tiers for its fiber-optic internet option. The company made the announcement to kick off its Life Gigified event, where it said new and existing AT&T Fiber customers will soon be able to take advantage of these multi-gig connections.
If you don’t know what multi-gig is, it means a single connection that offers speeds higher than 1Gbps. And because it’s a fiber-optic connection, this speed goes both ways. “It’s symmetrical; your upload and download speeds are the same.” Chris Sambar, AT&T’s executive vice president of technology operations said in an interview with The Verge.
AT&T’s new multi-gig speeds need Wi-Fi 6 technology for “optimal” performance, which means you’ll probably want to upgrade your router. But Sambar told The Verge it will supply customers with its multi-gig and Wi-Fi 6 capable BGW320 gateway when you sign up for its fiber-optic service, so you won’t have to buy any new equipment. AT&T may offer even faster speeds eventually; the company says it reached speeds of 10Gbps in a lab environment.
The 2Gbps plan will cost $110 / month, while the 5Gbps plan is priced at $180 / month. Business plans will cost a bit more, however, at $225 / month for 2Gbps and $395 / month for 5Gbps. AT&T is also introducing “straightforward pricing” for all of its Fiber plans, which it says will eliminate equipment fees, annual contracts, data caps, and 12-month price increases for new customers. Its new plans come with a free HBO Max subscription as well as ActiveArmor, AT&T’s cybersecurity service.
These new speed tiers will be available in over 70 metro areas, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Dallas. AT&T currently offers its fiber-optic network near cities spread out across the Southern, Midwestern, and Western portions of the US, but it plans to expand its service network to 30 million customers by 2025. Sambar says the locations that support multi-gig speeds will have access to both 2Gbps and 5Gbps plans.
Previously, AT&T’s fiber-optic speeds ranged from 300Mbps to 1Gbps. Its move into multi-gig territory follows Google Fiber’s 2Gbps rollout in 2020 as well as Comcast’s 3Gbps offering for $299 / month. AT&T offers more information about the new speeds on its site.
Update January 24th 1:20PM ET: Updated to add a statement and additional context from Chris Sambar, executive vice president of AT&T’s technology operations.