The City of Raleigh and AT&T have signed an agreement to open the way for AT&T to build an ultrafast Internet network in Raleigh. The AT&T plan is part of the North Carolina Next Generation Network initiative.

Durham has already signed a similar agreement.

Raleigh and AT&T announced the ratification of the deal early Wednesday.

A spokesperson for AT&T confirmed that the deal is non-exclusive, involves the assistance of the city in dealing with zoning and access to city right-of-way and also includes no financial terms or agreements other than those that will be negotiated later. 

AT&T is seeking cooperation from local governments just as Google Fiber has in its own negotiations.

Recent WRAL TechWire coverage of NCNGN:

  • Why is AT&T expanding to Durham?
  • Durham: AT&T agreement isn’t inclusive
  • Winston-Salem is first to sign AT&T agreement
  • NCNGN backs AT&T plan

Winston-Salem also has signed off on the AT&T proposal.

The North Carolina Next Generation Network consortium includes Duke, N.C. State, UNC-Chapel Hill and Wake Forest universities as well as municipal governments in Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Winston-Salem. 

Approval is still pending in Carrboro, Cary, and Chapel Hill, according to AT&T.

“We’ve already received great input from North Carolinians eager for the fastest available speeds,” said Venessa Harrison, president of AT&T-North Carolina, in a statement. “This ultra-fast fiber build will help foster innovation, enhance education, and encourage growth.”

AT&T has proposed to upgrade its existing U-verse Internet and entertainment network to a fiber-optic based network that would support speeds 10 times faster than traditional cable. Called “U-verse with GigaPower,” the ‘giga” plays off the term gigabit for speed.

Raleigh also is being considered by Google for deployment of its Google Fiber network.