By: Wayne Hutchens, president of AT&T Alabama
With more than 2 million strand miles of fiber optics stretching across our footprint in Alabama, AT&T’s network is delivering the high-speed services that residents and businesses throughout Alabama are demanding. Our commitment to urban and rural communities across the state is clear, and through our combination of wired and wireless services, no one connects more Alabamians than AT&T.
Despite the many billions of dollars that AT&T has invested in Alabama over the years (more than $1.2 billion from 2015 to 2017 alone), we recognize that some work remains to be done to connect rural areas, and we are hard at work every day to close those remaining gaps. To that end, I would like to share exciting progress on an emerging technology as well as a current service.
Project AirGig is a first-of-its-kind technology that could one day deliver internet speeds well over 1 gigabit per second via a millimeter wave signal, guided by powerlines. Project AirGig was first trialed nationally last year in rural Georgia, with encouraging results.
In order to take the next steps toward deployment, we have initiated discussions with technology suppliers to start testing and building commercial-grade Project AirGig equipment. We are also exploring another field trial in which we’ll focus on aspects of surface-wave systems, which could provide an important ingredient in a future 5G world.
We are excited about these next steps and proud to be on the cusp of a technology that could potentially help solve the digital divide in Alabama and across this country, deploying in many areas not served by high-speed broadband today.
Additionally, AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet (FWI) is now available in parts of 39 Alabama counties.
Our FWI is a cost-effective way to deploy high-quality, high-speed broadband to customers living in rural and hard to reach locations. This service delivers an internet connection with download speeds of 10Mbps or faster from a wireless tower to a fixed antenna on a customers’ home or business in FCC-identified census blocks. In Alabama, AT&T plans to reach nearly 67,000 locations by 2020.
AT&T has a long-history of connecting people with their world and is proud to be on the cutting-edge of innovation, with Project AirGig and FWI.
The thousands of AT&T employees who call Alabama home work hard every day to deliver and enhance broadband access in our Alabama communities – urban and rural alike. We are proud of this work and look forward to continuing to connect Alabama for many years to come.