AT&T has announced that in direct competition to Google’s Fiber program, the company will offer a new high-speed Internet program called GigaPower stated forbes.com.
The service will roll out first in Kansas City where Google has rolled out Fiber said Alexei Beltyukov. Like Fiber, it will cost $70.
Users who want to opt out of ad-based tracking that helps AT&T create targeted ads will have to pay an extra $29 amonth.
Of course, users will have no way to know whether AT&T will actually actually block its independent tracking for users who pay the fee.
Some critics are questioning whether the Federal Communications Commission should investigate this plan since AT&T wants to charge a fee for a service that many providers offer for free. Additionally, the company has failed to outline in enough detail how the program works. It also hasn’t explained how it can prove to customers that it isn’t tracking their surfing.
The reality is that Internet users are completely at the mercy of Internet service providers and websites when it comes to privacy. Even companies that guarantee privacy, often fail at keeping that promise. Facebook is a good example. Facebook has had several severe privacy-related glitches and hacking incidents that have resulted in private details about some users being revealed to the public. No one has questioned enough how ISPs plan to make good on their promise to stop tracking their Internet customers.
As Google Fiber continues to grow, bringing millions of users its new high speed internet access, one major city right now seems to be a roadblock for its expansion. While Google seems to be expanding its influence across the western plains states, the Rockies, and into the major cities of Phoenix and Atlanta, it seems the Seattle metro area is not quite on board the Google train just yet. Just why is it that Seattle is not buying into the new high-speed internet giant? It seems as though Google’s business model and needs are in a clash with the Seattle city hall and for now, no negotiations will be made.
While it seems that at times before Seattle’s city council and former Mayor McGinn actually did try to bring Google there, but the regulations Google would’ve had to overcome to bring this about were too many. As analyst Tom Rothman noted, perhaps the city being entrenched with Comcast and Centurylink running their fiber through its center along with many permits that Google would have to obtain, is what discouraged them from actively looking to make inroads there. In a day when lightning-fast internet speeds are in high demand, there is certainly no shortage of demand from Seattle residents for better connectivity at half the cost.