AT&T investing and innovating to enhance broadband access in rural Georgia

With nearly 4.7 million strand miles of fiber optics stretching across our footprint in Georgia, AT&T’s network is delivering the high-speed services that residents and businesses throughout Georgia 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 Georgians than AT&T.

Despite the many billions of dollars that AT&T has invested in Georgia over the years (nearly $5.3 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 with Project AirGig, a version of which was first trialed in the U.S. here in rural Georgia, and AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet (FWI).

Project AirGig

AirGigVid


Project AirGig is part of AT&T’s ongoing effort to accelerate internet connections to a gig or more for all communities through both wired and wireless solutions. AirGig technology represents over a decade of research by AT&T Labs and more than 500 patents and patent applications. It also represents a potential new era in connectivity where turbocharged data speeds can be available almost everywhere in the world.

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 (mmWave) signal, guided by powerlines. We are proud to be on the cusp of a technology that could potentially help solve the digital divide in Georgia and across this country, deploying in many areas not served by high-speed broadband today.

In order to take the next step towards 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.

"In today’s digital economy, access to reliable broadband service is key. My colleagues and I are working hard to create an environment that supports private investment and enhanced broadband access for all Georgians,” said Georgia State Senator Steve Gooch. “I applaud AT&T’s continued innovation and investment in new technologies. By using multiple technologies across Georgia, we will close the access gaps that exist in some of our rural communities.”

These are important next steps in what we hope will allow us to scale Project AirGig and bring this technology to many more people and businesses in Georgia and across the country.

AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet
AirGig picture

Additionally, we are excited to provide an update on the availability of AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet in rural and underserved locations in parts of 53 Georgia counties.

"AT&T has a long-history of connecting people with their world and is proud to be on the cusp of a technology that could potentially help solve the digital divide in Georgia and across this country,” stated Bill Leahy, president of AT&T Georgia. “We applaud Georgia’s policy-makers who are working hard to maintain an environment that welcomes investment and innovation, and the significant decision to conduct our AirGig trial in Georgia is evidence of that. We appreciate our collaboration with Georgia Power and look forward to yet another way to deliver gigabit internet connections to consumers regardless of the location.”

Our FWI is a cost-effective way to deploy high-quality, high-speed internet 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 the FCC-identified census blocks. In Georgia, AT&T plans to reach over 67,000 locations by 2020.

Parts of the following 53 counties in Georgia are now eligible for AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet service: Appling, Baker, Bleckley, Burke, Butts, Carroll, Chattahoochee, Columbia, Cook, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Echols, Elbert, Emanuel, Evans, Franklin, Fulton, Glascock, Grady, Greene, Hancock, Haralson, Jasper, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Lamar, Lanier, Laurens, Lee, Lowndes, McDuffie, Meriwether, Miller, Mitchell, Monroe, Morgan, Oconee, Pierce, Pike, Putnam, Sumter, Thomas, Tift, Toombs, Twiggs, Ware, Warren, Washington, Wayne and Worth.

"We share in AT&T's excitement about what we saw in this Project AirGig trial," said Paul Bowers, CEO, Georgia Power. The potential ability to also use this technology to supplement our own energy operations and controls, such as with remote weather monitoring systems, is exciting. We can see something like AirGig delivering tremendous benefits in helping to solve for the digital divide in Georgia."

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 Georgia home work hard each and every day to deliver and enhance broadband access in our communities – urban and rural.

It’s an exciting time to work in the communications technology industry. Thank you for what you do every day to make our work in Georgia a success, for our customers and our state.

Sincerely,

Bill Leahy
President — AT&T Georgia

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