Could faster Internet help Austin traffic?

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin is getting closer to having widespread one-gigabit-per-second Internet speeds, and some of those behind the services believe it could lead to changes in the way Austinites work.

“This is what makes it so exciting, right? This is the only place in the country right now where you’re seeing this level of competition going on,” said Adrian Cardwell, General Manager of AT&T Home Solutions. “So absolutely, it’s going to be fantastic for the consumer.”

Cardwell says the speeds expected in Austin will offer new options.

“You could have musicians collaborating near instantaneously, filmmakers sharing footage back and forth and collaborating instantaneously,” said Cardwell.

If enough people sign up for the faster Internet speeds through services in Austin, it could lead to more people working from home.

Sarah Miller starts some of her work days at her kitchen table. She works from home part time.

“(I work on) Special events, marketing, social media,” Sarah said. “So I’m constantly switching back and forth between different email addresses and on our websites.”

New, faster, 300 megabit per second speeds are keeping Sarah from needing to find a fast connection in coffee shops. They’re also keeping her from going into work during the morning commute.

“So I’m saving money on gas, which is great,” Sarah said.

“I think every telecommuter that you get, that’s able to work from home, we find that they’re more productive, they’re able to spend that time working and enjoying life with their family rather than sitting on I-35,” said Cardwell. “I think everybody would appreciate that. So I think absolutely, it’s within reach.”

Cardwell spoke to KXAN in a neighborhood in south Austin where builders are installing AT&T’s Gigapower.

PulteGroup, Inc. recently reached a deal with AT&T to install the fiber in several neighborhoods in the Austin Area.

When KXAN asked if there will be any caps or throttling because of the sheer amount of data customers can use with the one gigabit service, Cardwell said some websites may not have servers that could handle the capacity.

“As far as AT&T’s network, no throttling on that,” Cardwell said.

 

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