AT&T Unveils New 10 Mbps Fixed Wireless Service in Georgia

It’s hard to tell if this is a sign of things to come, or just a simple case of AT&T cutting costs.

AT&T has unveiled the first trials of a fixed wireless broadband service in Atlanta the company hopes will replace the aging DSL lines the company isn’t interested in upgrading. According to the AT&T announcement, the service will be creatively named “Fixed Wireless Internet.”

In this initial Atlanta trial, AT&T is providing 10 Mbps LTE service with a 160 GB monthly cap. From there, users pay $10 per each 50GB of additional data consumed — up to a maximum of $200 per month.

AT&T tells us standalone service will cost $60 per month with a one-year contract, or $70 per month without a contract (and after the contract period expires). Users that sign a contract and bundle the service with AT&T wireless or DirecTV will pay $50 per month, or $60 per month without a contract.

Like other fixed-wireless efforts, the service requires an outdoor antenna mounted on the consumer or business’ roof, and an inside residential gateway. AT&T says the Atlanta launch will expand to include 67,000 locations by 2020. The telco also notes that the company’s fixed wireless service will ultimately expand into 17 additional states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

“Access to the internet is an important tool for advancing opportunities in communities. It creates economic growth, helps increase community engagement and makes education accessible,” said Eric Boyer, senior vice president, Wireless and Wired Product Marketing at AT&T. “We’re committed to utilizing available technologies to connect hard-to-reach locations.”

What AT&T’s “committed to” is a cheaper alternative to upgrading millions of DSL customers in smaller cities, suburbs or rural markets the telco has zero interest in upgrading to fiber. The company has been lobbying, state by state, to eliminate rules requiring they maintain their older copper network (much of which taxpayers paid for) so the company can make the transition to more profitable wireless service.

The company’s full press release has some additional information. We’ll update this post on additional pricing and technical detail should we receive it from AT&T.

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