Every dream begins somewhere, and every anniversary deserves special recognition – especially when it’s a milestone commemorating AT&T Fiber’s 10th year. As we look back, we’d like to go back to the beginning, when our dream of delivering superfast home internet speeds – that can now reach up to 5-Gigs1 – began in the live music capital of the world, Austin, Texas.

Back in 2013, selfies were all the rage, Vine had the best six second videos on social media, and the average subscribed internet speed was around 15.6 Mbps. April of that year would see Austin serve as the birthplace for AT&T Fiber, where we first announced our intent to build a fiber network capable of delivering speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second – that’s nearly 7x faster than the average internet speed available at the time.

With fiber already an intrinsic part of AT&T’s DNA, bringing it to the home ushered in a new era for AT&T customers who would soon be able to tap into symmetrical upload and download speeds on a faster, more reliable network.

For a city known for keeping things “weird,” the idea of gig-speed internet coming to their neighborhood was anything but. By the time plans were underway throughout the remainder of 2013 and into 2014, AT&T Fiber would reach tens of thousands of customer locations throughout Austin and the surrounding areas. But our fiber deployment teams never once rested on their laurels. AT&T Fiber would go on to grow and reach even more neighborhoods and businesses in and around Austin, and beyond, as the years progressed.

Immediately, customers began to share their excitement about our fiber service greatly impacting their everyday internet needs. From enabling multiple connected devices to run at once, to experiencing less lag, gigabit speeds were a marvel to witness for customers who had been used to legacy internet technologies. With streaming services and downloading content going mainstream, customers described these experiences as much smoother and more instantaneous over fiber. Little did they know at the time, we had more up our sleeves. This was just the beginning of what AT&T Fiber was capable of.

Today, ten years later, AT&T is thrilled to be leading the nation's largest fiber build to customer locations2. We also have the fastest-growing fiber Internet3.

But that’s not all we’ve got cooking. We’re excited to expand fiber service to even more consumers through Public-Private partnerships including government funds from the American Rescue Plan and the upcoming BEAD program as well as creative business collaborations like our proposed joint venture – Gigapower. The federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) also helps qualified households pay for connectivity services. These initiatives are all helping to expand fiber services to more people. In ten short years, we’ve passed 25 million locations and remain on track to pass 30 million-plus consumer and business locations within our existing wireline footprint by the end of 2025.

Not only have we expanded our fiber build efforts beyond Austin, we’ve made available even faster speeds that would make 2013 blue with envy. In 2022, we introduced multi-gig fiber speeds of up to 5-Gigs, upping the ante for what it means to have hyper-fast connectivity. Additionally, we became the first operator to achieve 20-Gig symmetrical speeds in our production network with 25GS-PON technology. With its ability to run over the same fiber optic cables that we’ve spent the last decade installing from Austin and nationwide, 20-Gig symmetrical speeds offer developers and engineers a huge runway to the future – making it possible for connected apps and services that we’ve yet to become obsessed with to have plenty of bandwidth when they materialize.

As we celebrate AT&T Fiber’s momentous anniversary and reflect on the last ten years, we also look ahead to what the future will bring. With projections eyeing a 5x data increase on our network from 2021 to 2025, and consumers accessing roughly 30x more data in the home than on-the-go with smartphones, we’re proud to continue innovating on our initial fiber internet offering and ensuring AT&T Fiber is not only built for today’s demands – but also tomorrow’s.

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Erin Scarborough
Erin Scarborough President, Broadband Initiatives at AT&T

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