AT&T Invests More Than $1.9 Billion Over Three-Year Period to Keep North Carolina Connected

Investments in wireless and wireline networks in North Carolina expand coverage and improve connectivity in more communities.

AT&T is proud to have the nation’s best and also fastest wireless network,1 as well as the largest network in North America.2 From 2017-2019, we invested more than $1.9 billion in our wireless and wireline networks in North Carolina to expand coverage and improve connectivity in more communities.

These investments include:

  • More than $425 million in the Charlotte region
  • More than $400 million in the Triangle region
  • More than $220 million in the Triad region
  • Nearly $80 million in Asheville
  • Nearly 100 million in Wilmington
  • Nearly $700 million across other areas of the state.*

That investment has increased reliability, coverage and overall performance for residents and businesses, which is essential for connecting our customers with family, friends and colleagues – no matter the distance. It’s also improved critical communications services for North Carolina’s first responders using the FirstNet® network.

"We’re committed to keeping you connected when and where you need it most."

Trey Rabon – President, AT&T North Carolina

“We know that our continued investment in North Carolina is vital to keeping people connected – from public safety personnel during a crisis to friends, family and loved ones on a daily basis,” said Trey Rabon, President of AT&T North Carolina. “We’re committed to keeping you connected when and where you need it most. We show up for our customers and communities. That’s what we do. It’s who we are.”

Today, our 4G LTE network covers more than 330 million people.3 That’s more than 2.61 million square miles and over 99% of all Americans.4

We also expanded access to high-speed internet in North Carolina by building more than 890,000 additional fiber connections in Charlotte, Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Raleigh, Durham and Wilmington.

“Robust communication networks are vital to growing the overall economy of North Carolina, and we’ve seen during this pandemic just how much a role they play in connecting our residents to their jobs, their education and even their medical care,” said Christopher Chung, CEO of Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. “Private investment like this by AT&T lays the foundation for innovation and entrepreneurship that creates new jobs, while also keeping our communities connected.”

More details about our wireless coverage in North Carolina, and anywhere in the U.S., can be found on the AT&T Coverage Viewer. For updates on the AT&T wireless network, please visit the AT&T network news page.

FirstNet: Transforming Public Safety Communications

We’re honored to work with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) to build and manage FirstNet – the only nationwide, high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to and purpose-built for America’s first responders and the extended public safety community. And we take our responsibility to deliver FirstNet seriously.

Building upon our current and planned investments in North Carolina, we continue to extend the reach, and increase the coverage, capacity and capabilities of the FirstNet network:

  • Purpose-built network enhancements –Across North Carolina, we’ve boosted the network with high-quality Band 14 spectrum in communities such as Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Wilmington, Hickory, Asheville and Greensboro, among other cities. Band 14 is nationwide, high-quality spectrum set aside by the government specifically for FirstNet. We look at Band 14 as public safety’s VIP lane: in an emergency, this band – or lane – can be cleared and locked just for FirstNet subscribers. In addition, since beginning the FirstNet network expansion, we’ve launched new FirstNet cell sites in rural North Carolina counties including Ashe, Cleveland, Halifax, Northampton and Warren.
  • Public safety-specific advanced capabilities –FirstNet is providing North Carolina public safety with dedicated access when they need it, as well as an entire communication ecosystem with unique benefits like mission-centric devices, certified applications, always-on priority and preemption and high-quality Band 14 spectrum. These advanced capabilities enable FirstNet to perform faster than any commercial network5 and bring its subscribers the unthrottled connectivity they need.
  • Unparalleled emergency support –North Carolina agencies on FirstNet also have 24/7 access to a nationwide fleet of 76 deployable network assets. These assets can either be deployed for planned events or called upon in emergencies at no additional charge to help first responders stay connected and operate faster, safer and more effectively when lives are on the line. FirstNet Response Operations – led by a group of former first responders – guides the deployment of the FirstNet deployable assets based on the needs of public safety.
  • Free Smartphones for Life for Public Safety Agencies –We have a responsibility to public safety unlike any other wireless carrier. That’s why North Carolina agencies spanning law enforcement, fire, EMS, healthcare, hospital emergency departments, emergency management and 911 operations on FirstNet can stay up-to-date with smartphones for life at no additional cost.6 This means first responders across agencies of all sizes will have affordable access to their network.

The FirstNet network expansion across North Carolina is being done with direct feedback from state and public safety officials. This helps ensure FirstNet meets the short- and long-term needs of the public safety community.

Go here for more FirstNet news. Or check out FirstNet.com to learn more about the program.

Our commitment to North Carolina

In addition to the programs mentioned above, AT&T’s commitment to North Carolina includes programs like:

  • The Connect America Fund – Through our participation in the FCC’s Connect AmericaFund universal service program, we have been helping to meet the connectivity needs of customers in largely rural areas and to expand the opportunities enabled by internet access. By the end of 2019, we offered high-speed internet access to over 10,500 locations across North Carolina in mostly rural areas through technologies like Fixed Wireless Internet.

This is all made possible by our talented, dedicated AT&T team members who are committed to being there and are the driving force behind our efforts to expand wireless connectivity both in North Carolina and across the country. That’s why we believe in investing in our employees and workforce. In 2019, Fortune and Great Place to Work named us one of the Best Big Companies to Work For.

* Totals may not agree due to rounding

1 Best Network based on 2019 GWS OneScore. Fastest based on analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data median download speeds for Q1 2020. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.

2 Based on comparison of carrier owned & operated networks. No AT&T on-net coverage in select countries, including Canada.

3 Coverage includes non-AT&T network areas covered by roaming agreements with third parties.

4 Based on overall coverage in U.S. licensed areas. Coverage not available everywhere. AT&T’s 4G LTE coverage is not equivalent to its overall network coverage.

5 Based on AT&T analysis of Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data median download speeds for Q1 2020. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.

6 Available only to FirstNet first responder public safety entities for Primary Agency Paid User lines of service. Requires a new FirstNet Mobile - Unlimited for Smartphone line or eligible upgrade on a two-year service agreement or AT&T installment 30-month agreement. For two-year agreement, upgrade your smartphone with a new eligible smartphone every two years at no additional cost for as long as your service plan is in effect and in good standing. Pay $.99 for eligible smartphone at purchase, credited back within three billing cycles. Upgrade requires new two-year agreement. For AT&T Installment 30-month agreement, upgrade your smartphone with a new eligible smartphone every time you satisfy your current AT&T Installment agreement and sign a new one for no additional cost for as long as your service plan is in effect and in good standing. For both plans, tax on full discount price (two-year agreement) or full retail price (AT&T Installment agreement) due at sale. Activation and other fees, taxes, charges and restrictions apply. See firstnet.com/agencyoffers for offer details.

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