AT&T trialing broadband over power lines

Dec. 13, 2017
AT&T (NYSE:T) has launched two trials of its Project AirGig broadband over powerline (BPL) technology, one internationally and a second in ...

AT&T (NYSE:T) has launched two trials of its Project AirGig broadband over powerline (BPL) technology, one internationally and a second in the United States in Georgia.

AirGig is intended to eventually deliver Internet speeds in excess of 1 Gbps via a millimeter wave (mmWave) signal guided by power lines. The object is to avoid building new towers or burying new cables in locations close to aerial power lines. AirGig is intended to allow trained electrical workers to install devices to provide high-speed broadband in just a few minutes.

The company says AirGig is the product of more than a decade of research by AT&T Labs and more than 300 patents and patent applications.

"Project AirGig is part of our ongoing effort to accelerate Internet connections to a gig or more through both wired and wireless solutions," said Andre Fuetsch, president, AT&T Labs and CTO. "But it also stands alone as a radically innovative solution to bridge the global digital divide. If these trials and our continued research and development turn out the way we intend, we'll take a big step toward bringing hyper-fast connectivity to people everywhere."

There are two trials in the current phase of the project. The first trial started earlier this fall with an electricity provider outside the United States. The U.S. trial recently kicked off with Georgia Power. While that trial is in a rural area, AirGig is intended to be deployed in suburban and urban areas as well.

There's no timeline yet for commercial deployment, and AT&T is looking into expanding trials in other locations as the technology develops.

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