Business

There’s a new internet option for people in NC’s rural and ‘underserved’ spots

Fixed wireless internet service uses cell towers, like this one shown in Raleigh in 2016, to send broadband to antennas at homes and businesses.
Fixed wireless internet service uses cell towers, like this one shown in Raleigh in 2016, to send broadband to antennas at homes and businesses. hlynch@newsobserver.com

People who live where high-speed internet access is sparse or nonexistent may now be able to join most of the rest of the country with new wireless broadband access.

North Carolina is one of eight states where AT&T has added fixed wireless broadband to better reach places where internet service is spotty, the company announced Monday.

The fixed service signal is sent between cell towers and antennas fixed to homes or businesses. The AT&T service comes with download speeds of at least 10 megabits per second, similar to a standard home connection in areas with broadband access.

“We’re committed to connect hard-to-reach locations to the internet,” Cheryl Choy, AT&T vice president for wired voice and internet products, said in a news release. “This changes lives and creates economic growth for these areas. We’re excited to bring this service to even more underserved locations.”

AT&T and other internet providers are receiving federal money from the Connect America Fund to expand broadband into underserved areas.

AT&T internet prices start at $30 in a monthly plan. The fixed wireless service includes 160 gigabytes of data and options to purchase more up to a $200 monthly maximum.

AT&T’s fixed wireless first launched in Georgia this year and now reaches more than 70,000 homes or buildings with the addition of service in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana and the Carolinas, the company said.

By the end of the year, AT&T intends to expand the service to Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin to reach 400,000 locations. The company wants to reach more than 1.1 million locations with fixed wireless by 2020 as part of its commitment to the federal program.

  Comments