The Raleigh City Council on Wednesday authorized the city manager and attorney to contract with AT&T to bring the communications provider’s next-generation internet and cable service to local residents.

AT&T’s “U-verse with GigaPower” plan comes recommended by the North Carolina Next Generation Network consortium.

The NCNGN includes N.C. State, Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University as well as the cities of Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Cary, Winston-Salem, Carrboro and Durham. The group launched the effort to bring ultra-fast Internet to the Triangle and Triad in January of 2013 after Internet giant Google selected Kansas City for its first fiber optic-based network.

“AT&T’s proposal is the only one being recommended for approval at this time but our communities remain active in discussions with other vendors,” Elise Kohn, the program director for the North Carolina Next Generation Network, told WRALTechWire.

Any agreement the city strikes would be non-exclusive.

Kohn explained that AT&T’s proposal met the wide range of requirements laid out by the consortium, including free wireless “hot spots” and service to low-income residents.

The race to offer faster networking to homes and businesses in the Triangle accelerated this week when Shelby-based RST Fiber began installing fiber in Wake Forest that it says will increase speeds by a factor of 100.

Google Fiber representatives have also met with City of Raleigh officials about the possibility of deploying a network.

Another statewide fiber network, the North Carolina Research and Education Network, is operated by MCNC but it does not service consumers or businesses.