Sad but true: Millions of Americans are still reliant on dial-up services to get online because major telecom and cable companies don’t want to spend the money necessary to build out faster networks to remote rural locations. However, AT&T is testing out a new fixed wireless Internet service that can not only free people from AOL dial-up hell but can also deliver solid speeds of between 15Mbps and 25Mbps.
Per FierceWireless, AT&T is testing out this service in rural parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kansas and Virginia. FierceWireless also speculates that AT&T is building out this fixed wireless service to meet promises it made to the government in exchange for the approval of its merger with DirecTV.
This particular fixed wireline service will cover an estimated 10 million Americans and deliver download speeds of at least 10Mbps and upload speeds of at least 1Mbps. What’s more, 85% of areas where it’s located will be outside of AT&T’s wireline footprint, meaning it really is saving people from having to rely on AOL to get their daily Internet fix.
“AT&T’s fixed WLL service will be the first truly high-speed broadband offering to many of these customer locations,” AT&T claimed in a recent filing with the SEC.
At any rate, we’ll be interested to see how well this works out — merger-related promises from telecom companies have a way of not being completely fulfilled, so some skepticism is warranted in this case.