AT&T plans to use power lines to deliver hi-speed internet service



Soon, electricity won't be the only thing that will come from those power lines you see placed throughout the U.S. Today, AT&T introduced Project AirGig. The service will provide "low-cost, multi-gigabit wireless internet speeds" from power lines. For AT&T, it gives the company the opportunity to provide internet service in areas usually not covered by the carrier.

AT&T uses plastic antennas that push out data, and will install them on power lines. An electromagnetic field helps send the signal through the wires. AT&T's chief strategy officer, John Donovan, said that the whole process is easier to install than fiber and will "deliver ultra-fast wireless connectivity."

This isn't the first time that major tech firms toyed with the idea of delivering the internet using power lines. Over the last decade, companies like Google and IBM worked on delivering a signal using this method by sending a signal inside the wires. AT&T's system disseminates a signal around the lines. Other problems popped up with previous attempts to use power lines to distribute broadband. For example, broadcasts on emergency radios were often disrupted.

AirGig will launch in certain cities and countries next year, with the focus on rural areas that are considered remote. The target is to deliver LTE speeds through the power lines. In the U.S., there are 200,000 miles of high-voltage lines and 5.5 miles of lines used for local distribution of power. One major advantage to AirGig is that putting it in place requires less money than it takes to build a cell tower.

source: AT&T via CNET

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6 Comments

1. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1318; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

They're taking a leaf out of Googles book.

2. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1318; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

Impatiently waiting for PA to put up iPhone vs Note 7 speed test article that i sent to the tipbox. I'm actually a little anxious lol.

3. lyndon420

Posts: 6737; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

You won't get anything for your effort, so no need to feel anxious. If you're lucky you may get a thanks, but you won't get 20 free green thumbs or anything like that.

4. tedkord

Posts: 17311; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I hope the power companies sandbag them the way they've been sandbagging Google Fiber.

5. Lyngdoh

Posts: 319; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

This is easier said than done. Noise is the main obstacle they have to get rid in this tech.

6. ibap

Posts: 867; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

"5.5 miles of lines used for local distribution of power" - really? Missing a word or two?

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