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AT&T Testing High-Speed Internet Over Power Lines

AT&T Testing High-Speed Internet Over Power LinesAT&T Testing High-Speed Internet Over Power Lines

AT&T Inc has started trials in Georgia state and a non-US location to deliver high-speed internet over power lines, the No. 2 wireless carrier said on Wednesday, marking its latest push to offer faster broadband service to more customers.

AT&T aims to eventually deliver speeds faster than the 1 gigabit per second consumers can currently get through fiber internet service using high-frequency airwaves that travel along power lines. 

While the Georgia trial is in a rural area, the service could potentially be deployed in suburbs and cities, the company said in a statement, Reuters reported.

“We think this product is eventually one that could actually serve anywhere near a power line,” said Marachel Knight, AT&T’s senior vice president of wireless network architecture and design, in an interview. She added that AT&T chose an international trial location in part because the market opportunity extends beyond the United States.

AT&T said it had no timeline for commercial deployment and that it would look to expand trials as it develops the technology.

“Potentially, it can be a really big deal,” said Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics. “You need the power company to play ball with you. That is the downside.”

AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc, the largest US wireless carrier, have also been testing 5G internet services in which the last leg of the connection is delivered via a radio signal to homes using high-frequency airwaves known as millimeter wave spectrum.

Verizon said in November it would launch the faster broadband service in three to five US markets in 2018.

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