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AT&T promises gigabit broadband to 11 more cities

AT&T is racing to roll out its ultra-high-speed broadband service as rival Google Fiber, which started the gigabit craze, seems to be scaling back its deployment.

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CNET/Marguerite Reardon

AT&T is hitting the gas on plans to deliver ultra-high-speed broadband to more homes, apartment buildings and businesses.

The Dallas-based phone giant on Tuesday said it plans to bring the newly branded "AT&T Fiber" service to 11 additional metro areas, which include Gainesville and Panama City, Fla.; Columbus, Ga.; Central Kentucky; Lafayette, La.; Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss., and Northeast Mississippi; Wilmington, N.C.; Knoxville and Southeastern Tennessee; and Corpus Christi, Texas.

AT&T's expansion comes as rival Google Fiber, which was the first major brand to push for gigabit speed broadband at affordable prices, is reportedly scaling back its deployment.

A report this summer from The Information suggests that Google Fiber, a subsidiary of Alphabet, Google's parent company, has fallen "well short" of its subscriber goals and is looking to cut costs. The company has delayed construction in San Jose, Calif., as it evaluates using wireless technology to deliver service. And it has supposedly suspended a project in Portland, Oregon.

Meanwhile, AT&T is also suing Google in Nashville and Louisville in an attempt to stall Google Fiber deployment.

AT&T launched its 1 gigabit broadband service in Austin, Texas, nearly three years ago. Since then it's expanded the service to parts of 29 cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. It says it's able to offer the service to more than 3 million locations.

In total, AT&T says it plans to deliver service in 67 metro areas, and it has promised to have networks up and running in 45 of those metro areas by the end of the year. By mid-2019, the company claims it will be able to deliver its gigabit service to more than 12.5 million locations.