AT&T is bringing its gigabit Internet service to 11 new metro areas.
Currently available in parts of 29 cities around the country, the ultra-fast network—which the company is now calling AT&T Fiber—is expected to reach another 45 locations by the end of this year. That includes 11 new markets announced on Wednesday:
"Customer demand for high-speed connectivity is exceeding even our high expectations," David Christopher, chief marketing officer of the AT&T Entertainment Group, said in a statement.
AT&T first rolled out gigabit speeds in Austin, Texas in 2014. It's now available in more than 3 million locations, including 500,000 apartment buildings and condos, which AT&T expects to increase to 12.5 million by mid-2019. Pricing varies by region, from $70 to $110 per month.
Previously known as U-verse with AT&T GigaPower, the ISP's gigabit service will be rebranded as AT&T Fiber. Going forward, the U-verse brand will be phased out for AT&T Fiber and AT&T Internet branding.
The gigabit rollout, however, has not always been a smooth process. Earlier this year, AT&T sued Kentucky's Louisville and Jefferson County government, alleging that the city council has no authority to allow competing broadband services like Google Fiber to use existing utility poles.
Charter Communications is now jumping on that bandwagon. It wants to block Google Fiber from gaining easier access to utility poles in Louisville, which Charters says violates its Fifth Amendment property rights.
AT&T, meanwhile, is diving deeper into the Internet of Things. The company will begin a pilot program of its LTE-M technology next month in San Francisco before it launches across AT&T's commercial LTE network in 2017. LTE-M can connect to IoT products like smart utility meters, vending machines, alarm systems, wearables, and more and provide lower costs, longer battery life, and better coverage, AT&T says.
AT&T also unveiled a new partnership with Farmer's Fridge to connect its smart refrigerators. The food provider will tap into AT&T's IoT technology to monitor inventory and equipment status, as well as process credit card transactions in near real-time.