AT&T trials AirGig technology for gigabit internet over power lines


AT&T, the second largest mobile carrier in the US, has announced that it has officially started trials on a new technology called Project AirGig, something that uses pre-existing power lines to expand upon its internet services.

The new tests from AT&T involve its Project AirGig technology.

Telecoms giant AT&T has started testing a new internet distribution service in a small area within the state of Georgia and in an unnamed location overseas. The set up does require access to the pole's power source and also does not use the existing wiring to send signals, rather AirGig stations use millimetre wave signals to communicate. Instead, using AirGig patented technology, AT&T and local utilities like Georgia Power would install devices to provide high speed broadband which can be clamped on by trained electrical workers in just a few minutes. "But it also stands alone as a radically innovative solution to bridge the global digital divide".

Georgia Power announced today that it is working with AT&T for a Georgia-based trial of AT&T's unique Project AirGig technology. It's unclear where the first USA trial took place.

AT&T said the technology could someday deliver "gigabit" speeds to rural and urban areas near above-ground power lines.

There's no word on when Project AirGig might get a wider rollout. The aim is to offer those in rural areas and suburbs - among others - a high-speed connection without the need to build costly cell towers.

"AT&T has a long-history of connecting people with their world and is proud to be on the cutting-edge of innovation, now with Project AirGig trials", said Bill Leahy, president of AT&T Georgia.

Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power, added: "Expanding access to high speed internet is an important initiative that provides value for our all of our customers and helps us remain a competitive state in which to do business". However, there is now no timeline for a commercial rollout, and AT&T did not announce any other future trial locations.