AT&T is expanding high-speed internet access to rural communities surrounding Birmingham

Photo via Jefferson County Library Cooperative.

Recently, AT&T Alabama President Wayne Hutchens proudly announced in a post on the AT&T Alabama website that the company is offering Fixed Wireless Internet in parts of 32 Alabama counties.

This a big deal, especially in the Birmingham metropolitan area.

AT&T
New AT&T Alabama president, Wayne Hutchens- Via AT&T.

Fixed Wireless Internet (FWI) is a cost-effective way to deploy high-quality, high-speed internet to customers living in rural and hard to reach locations. This service delivers an internet connection with download speeds of 10Mbps or faster from a wireless tower to a fixed antenna on a customers’ home or business in the FCC-identified census blocks.

More than 37,000 customer locations in 32 Alabama Counties are now eligible for this internet service from AT&T from all over the state including Jefferson, Shelby, Bibb, Blount and Walker counties.

Birmingham metro is both urban and rural

If you live within the boundaries of the Birmingham city limits and adjacent suburbs, you probably can’t imagine internet access being a problem.

It is.

Try getting internet service in parts of north Jefferson county or in rural Shelby, past the malls and subdivisions.

AT&T Birmingham
via AT&T

Despite being a seven county metro area with over 1.1 million people and the 49th largest metro statistical area in the nation, we’ve still got rural and “hard to reach via the internet” communities near us that are only 20-40 miles from downtown Birmingham.

That is why AT&T’s commitment to enhance broadband access in our rural communities is so important. If Birmingham wants to be a regional economic powerhouse, it must connect all our communities.

Governor Kay Ivey said it best in Hutchens’ post, “In today’s economy, access to high speed internet is an integral part of our infrastructure.”

According to Hutchens, AT&T has plans to reach nearly 66,000 customer locations across Alabama by 2020. Through AT&T’s leadership major steps are being take to eliminate the connectivity gap in our state.

Now, that is good news not just for the city of Birmingham, but our entire metro region and state.

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.