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AT&T rolls out ‘GigaPower’ Internet service in Orange County

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Telecom giant AT&T started offering its fiber optic “GigaPower” Internet service in a handful of cities across the country Tuesday, with Orlando and some pockets of Orange County making the list.

“We’re excited to officially launch our ultra-high-speed AT&T GigaPower network to Orlando. Residents and small businesses want the latest technologies and AT&T is delivering,” said Joe York, president of AT&T Florida. “The AT&T GigaPower network will help encourage economic development by facilitating a new wave of innovation through enhanced opportunities for education, health, research and small business growth.”

The service boasts speeds up to a gigabit, a bandwidth measurement that translates to a maximum download speed of 125 megabytes per second, or about 30 seconds to download a full-length, high-definition movie. The top-tier plan for most non-fiber Internet providers maxes out between 100 and 200 megabits.

Whether the speeds actually hit their peak rate is another story, though. AT&T said in the announcement that customers would see speed drops if they watched two or more HDTV shows at once.

Customer reports from areas where the service is already available show peak speeds generally top out between 900 and 925 megabits, though some do get very close to the full gigabit.

The high speed comes with a catch, though: GigaPower customers will have a 1 terabyte – 1,000 GB – data cap. That amount of data could be transmitted in a little over 2 hours if running full speed. Once over the limit, it’s $10 for every 50 GB. Other high-speed providers in the Orlando-area have higher data cap or none at all.

Pricing varies depending on what other AT&T services are bundled, but Internet-only customers will pay $110 a month full-speed plan or $80 a month for a 300-megabit plan. The company said the prices are locked for one year.

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and FloridaPolitics.com. While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.

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