The announcement of AT&T about their plans to deliver high-speed internet over the existing power lines last year resulted in much stir. However, since the announcement, there were not many updates on the new technology that is deemed “Project Airgig”.
It is evident that AT&T is trying to be the best internet provider in the nation with the launch of Project Airgig. In the month of January, AT&T said that they have entered into advanced discussion with many power companies to get trial areas for Project Airgig. The chief strategy officer of AT&T, John Donovan said at the time that there would be an announcement about the power companies in just a few days’ time. However, even after three months, AT&T has not yet announced the involvement of any particular power company.
Recently, AT&T President of Technology and Operations, Bill Hogg, offered a short update on the project. He did not speak to the power companies that are involved, but reassured that the trials would happen in 2017. “We’ll have right now probably two trials that we’ll do by the end of the year … and really start to perfect the model and the deployment,” Hogg said.
An AT&T spokesperson said that the talks with the various power companies are still going on and that they are planning to announce the trials no later than fall. Officials said that the Project Airgig is an efficient way to deliver multi-gigabit internet speeds making use of cheap plastic antennas that are strapped to existing telephone poles. Experts in the field of telecommunications say that the option presents much value for AT&T when compared to the fiber internet network deployment, which needs much costs to build out.
“We’re really excited about it because it’s a great alternative to stringing up fiber, especially in rural areas where you have long runs,” Hogg said. “These are great opportunities to leverage the physical infrastructure that’s already been deployed.”
AT&T had earlier rebranded their fiber network from GigaPower Internet to AT&T Fiber and the service has been expanding a lot, mainly in the major metro regions of the country. Currently, the service reaches to 4 million consumers and AT&T is planning to increase the reach to 12.5 million users by 2019.