AT&T picks Georgia to test ‘gigabit’ internet over power lines


Telecom giant AT&T has picked Georgia to test a new technology to distribute super-fast internet signals via power lines.

AT&T said its Project AirGig could someday deliver “gigabit” speeds to rural and urban areas near above-ground power lines without building new broadcasting towers or burying new fiber optic cable.

AT&T, in partnership with Georgia Power, is testing the technology in an undisclosed rural Georgia location. Technicians can essentially clamp the technology onto existing power infrastructure in a matter of minutes, AT&T said in a news release.

“Project AirGig is part of our ongoing effort to accelerate internet connections to a gig or more through both wired and wireless solutions,” Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T Labs, said in the release. “But it also stands alone as a radically innovative solution to bridge the global digital divide.”

The announcement comes as Georgia lawmakers grapple with the issue of providing improved internet access to rural areas of the state.

The idea of directing internet service over power lines has been tried in the past, but AT&T has said its system overcomes prior technical challenges.

Deployment costs for new broadband service could be greatly reduced compared to the cost of deploying expensive new towers and cable infrastructure.

The technology, if proven commercially viable, could help expand broadband internet access to under-served areas. AT&T said there’s no timeline yet for commercial deployment.

AT&T is also testing the technology outside the U.S. The company said the project, lead by AT&T Labs, draws upon more than 10 years of research.

“Expanding access to high speed internet is an important initiative that provides value for our all of our customers and helps us remain a competitive state in which to do business,” Georgia Power Chairman, President and CEO Paul Bowers said.

MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.

AJC Business reporter J. Scott Trubey keeps you updated on the latest news about economic development and commercial real estate in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

Never miss a minute of what's happening in local business news. Subscribe to myAJC.com.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Kempner: Trump and non-Trump business partners agree on refugees, jobs
Kempner: Trump and non-Trump business partners agree on refugees, jobs

I met a Trump supporter and a not-Trump supporter the other day. Funny thing: they were getting along. Even when they were talking politics. It turns out they have a lot in common. Chris Chancey and Luke Keller are friends and co-owners of an unusual and growing for-profit Georgia staffing agency that specializes in placing refugees. Amplio Recruiting...
Porsche announces investment in Croatian electric car company

German car manufacturer Porsche announced Wednesday it has purchased a 10 percent minority stake in Rimac Automobili, a Croatian manufacturer specializing in electric sports cars and electric car parts. The investment is the latest move by Porsche towards an increased focus on the electric car market. Porsche, which has its North American headquarters...
Delta CEO opposes idea of state takeover of Hartsfield-Jackson
Delta CEO opposes idea of state takeover of Hartsfield-Jackson

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said he opposes a state takeover of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, as Georgia’s legislature plans a committee to study the idea. “Atlanta is the largest, most successful airport in the world, and anything that would harm that in terms of trying to move it for political gain between the city and state...
AMC Theatres announces $20-a-month rival to MoviePass
AMC Theatres announces $20-a-month rival to MoviePass

AMC Theatres, the world's largest movie theater chain, has unveiled a $20-a-month subscription service to rival the fledgling MoviePass. The theater chain on Wednesday announced a new service to its loyalty program, AMC Stubs, allowing subscribers to see up to three movies a week for a monthly fee of $19.95. That's more expensive than the $9.95 monthly...
SunTrust aims to spread name with airport branch, ATMs
SunTrust aims to spread name with airport branch, ATMs

By opening a branch and ATMs at the world’s busiest airport, SunTrust hopes to gain national visibility. The Atlanta-based bank has a new contract to operate a branch and 16 ATMs at Hartsfield-Jackson International in the first quarter of 2019, replacing Wells Fargo ATMs. And with the Super Bowl headed for Atlanta next February, SunTrust plans...
More Stories