FCC chairman Ajit Pai, in addition to reducing Title II protections on internet service to shreds, has made rural broadband connectivity his crusade. The commission set up the Connect America Fund in order to fulfill it and AT&T is currently engaging in its part of the cause.
In April, the network launched a test fixed wireless service in parts of remote Georgia. It has since spread to over 70,000 locations across Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Louisiana.
Customers signing up for service pay $60 for a monthly data bucket of 160GB with overage fees of $10 for every extra 50GB used with a maximum cap of $200. AT&T is promoting its service with download speeds of “at least” 10Mbps — not even clearing FCC standards for “broadband”. It’s also a question of whether competitors will come in to provide more options, should Ma Bell be found lacking by its customers.
Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin will light up within the year and help bring the location tally up to 400,000.