AT&T is formally announcing deployment of its ultra-fast Internet service known as GigaPower in Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Winston-Salem today as part of the North Carolina Next Generation Network. Durham will be added later.

The network will offer Internet download speeds up to 1 gigabit, or some 100 times faster than standard cable Internet services.

The NCNGN selected AT&T to build the network earlier this year. AT&T reaffirmed its commitment to the NCNGN project two weeks ago despite company concerns about proposed Internet regulation.

“The Research Triangle has a long history as a technology innovator,” said Tracy Futhey, vice president for Information Technology at Duke University and chair of the North Carolina Next Generation Network Steering Committee, in a statement.

“Maintaining that pace-setting role requires a continual evolution of our tech ecosystem. We’re thrilled AT&T is investing in a gigabit network in our region. These kinds of networks will help to strengthen our region’s competitive edge, ensuring that we continue to lead in creating an environment that inspires technological innovation.”

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Customers can begin placing orders today, and service in select areas also is now available, according to an AT&T spokesperson.

The Triangle is still awating word whether it will be selected as a deployment site for Google Fiber. News is expected before the end of the month, 

Pricing starts at $90 per month for Internet speeds up to 100 megabits per second.

The gigabit service is available for an additional $30.

TV service and home phone service also is available, each at the additional cost of $30 per month.

More pricing and service information is available online.

Other North Carolina cities, including Charlotte, will be added in the future, AT&T said.

The company is moving forward with fiber-optic Internet construction after a brief “pause” declared by its CEO due to concerns about possible Internet regulation. AT&T recently decided to proceed with projects such as the NCNGN, which had already been announced.

“We’re proud to launch in these cities as the first locations where we will offer ultra-high speeds to local consumers and employers in North Carolina,” said Venessa Harrison, president of AT&T North Carolina, in a statement.

“U-verse with AT&T GigaPower will help encourage economic development in the area by facilitating a new wave of innovation through enhanced opportunities for education, health, research and small business growth.”

AT&T already offers its U-Verse Internet and entertainment service in the Triangle and the Triad.

U-verse with GigaPower customers also will receive other services such as:

  • Ability to watch and record five simultaneous HD streams
  • DVR capable of storing up to 900 hours of standard definition or 330 hours of high definition programming
  • More than 100 channels live in home and on mobile devices/out of home

The Durham County market is largely a new one for AT&T. The City of Durham and the surrounding county is primarily served by Frontier Communications which recently launched its own gigabit Internet service.

The NCNGN is a consortium made up of six municipalities, including: Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Cary and Winson-Salem. Four univeristies also are involved: Duke, N.C. State, UNC-Chapel Hill and Wake Forest.