AT&T initiatives to broaden availability of advanced services

AT&T announced earlier this month a series of moves intended to demonstrate its commitment to wide delivery of broadband Internet access and IP-based services throughout its traditional 13-state local service territory.

AT&T Chairman and CEO Edward Whitacre announced the initiatives during a keynote speech to the Detroit Economic Club. They include:

  • Offering a satellite-based broadband service later this month in select rural markets in AT&T's residential service territory, most of which are not served by landline broadband services today;
  • Affirming the company's intent to make its Project Lightspeed video services available within three years to more than 5.5 million low-income households as part of its initial build in 41 target markets;
  • Expanding the scope of the company's market efforts related to WiMAX and other fixed wireless technologies. New deployments will begin later this year in Texas and Nevada, joining existing AT&T fixed wireless service offers in Alaska, Georgia and New Jersey.

In particular, making Project Lightspeed available to more than 5.5 million addresses concerns critics of creating a national franchising authority have raised over “red-lining.” Some have contended that stripping municipalities of their franchising authority would remove an important check on telecom companies, allowing them to cherry pick by excluding lower income neighborhoods from new IPTV service offerings.

For more information, visit