AT&T has announced this week that it has successfully rolled out its Fixed Wireless Internet service for rural and underserved areas to 70,000 locations spread throughout nine states in America, namely Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
Some may remember that back in April earlier this year, the second biggest wireless carrier in the United States had initially deployed its Fixed Wireless Internet service in the state of Georgia. The service is part of the company’s participation in the US Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF II). In the second phase of this FCC initiative, AT&T, as well as rival Verizon Wireless and eight other mobile operators, had received a sum of $1.5 billion in late 2015. The main objective of the Connect America Fund was to provide broadband service to approximately 23 million US citizens who are living in rural locations.
According to AT&T, the general plan is to provide its Fixed Wireless Internet service to over 400,000 locations before the start of next year. By the end of this decade, the major US wireless carrier estimates that it should be able to roll out the service to a total of 1.1 million locations across the country. Also, by the end of this year, the company is projecting that users based in Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas should be able to start using AT&T’s Fixed Wireless Internet service.
For those still not familiar with the Fixed Wireless Internet service, it comes with 160 gigabytes of data each month, plus more data made available for a price of $10 a gigabyte up to a limit of $200 per month. Customers who wish to avail of the service are required to also have an AT&T provided outdoor antenna, plus the mobile operator’s residential gateway, and extra buckets of 50 gigabytes of data (offered for $10 each bucket up to a maximum of $200 per month). It should be noted that the products and services are delivered thanks to subsidies and affiliates of AT&T, and although they are not directly provided by AT&T itself, they are packaged under its brand.
AT&T’s Fixed Wireless Internet service takes full advantage of a cellular tower that features a separate fixed wireless antenna as well as a dedicated outdoor antenna. The whole set up is to be attached to a roof, chimney, or any other exterior location. An Ethernet cable is then added in order to connect the exterior antenna to an AT&T Wi-Fi gateway placed inside the residence.
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