AT&T beaming AirGig broadband from power lines
Sure, you can dig trenches across the land and fill them up with fiber-optic cables, but @ATT has begun testing what it says is a promising alternative called #AirGig that relies on radio signals instead. Unveiled last year, AirGig sends data from one antenna to another along power lines in rural, suburban or urban areas. It also sends data to nearby buildings at speeds of about 1 gigabit per second — something like 15 times faster than the average US broadband data-transfer rate. AT&T now has two trials underway, one a suburban test in an undisclosed country outside the US, and another in partnership with Georgia Power in a more rural location, the company announced Tuesday night. “If these trials and our continued research and development turn out the way we intend, we’ll take a big step toward bringing hyperfast connectivity to people everywhere,” Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T Labs and the company’s chief technology officer, said in a statement. Hyperfast internet access sounds hyperbolic, but there’s our appetite for network data is insatiable and growing, so any new technology can help. In practice, we’re likely to be served by new short- and long-range radio links, ever-faster data links on traditional phone and cable TV lines to our homes, and fiber optic lines, too. Indeed, AT&T’s broadband business is stringing fiber along phone lines in several cities around the US.