4 things to know about AT&T’s rollout of fixed wireless internet, as they expand it to rural Jefferson county and across Alabama

AT&T’s fixed, wireless internet service means broadband connectivity for rural Alabama. Photo for Bham Now

Fixed wireless internet is here for rural parts of Jefferson county that don’t have access to broadband. That’s good for customers, but AT&T hopes it’s good for business investment in Birmingham and across the state, too.

Living and working in those rural (and beautiful) parts of Jefferson County that surround Birmingham just got a little more digitally enhanced. After AT&T announced it was rolling out high-speed internet across Alabama in June, we’ve been waiting to find out when it would begin. Now we know!

Here’s a rundown on what fixed, wireless internet is, and what it does for communities near us.

AT&T Birmingham
via AT&T

1. Fixed Wireless Is Fast

AT&T says their fixed wireless internet service delivers an internet connection with download speeds of at least 10Mbps and upload speeds of at least 1Mbps. It’s also a way to provide broadband access without having to dig new phone or cable lines.

2. How It Works

With a fixed wireless internet setup, the connection comes from a wireless tower and goes to a fixed antenna on a customer’s home or business. According to AT&T it’s an efficient way “to deliver high-quality, high-speed internet to customers living in underserved rural areas.”

Governor Kay Ivey and Bessemer Mayor Kenneth Gulley at the Amazon ground-breaking event. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

3. More Internet Means More Business

AT&T now offers fixed wireless internet in 39 Alabama counties, and that’s not all. The rollout also includes over 440,000 locations across 18 states.

Here’s why: big business comes to states with fast internet.

You betcha companies like Amazon have been paying attention, and it’s  likely one of many reasons they chose to put roots here with a brand-new fullfillment center in Bessemer.

“In today’s digital economy, access to reliable broadband service is critical,” said U.S. Congressman Robert Aderholt (RAL 4th District).

“My colleagues and I are working hard to create an environment that supports private investment and enhanced broadband access for all Alabamians … With the use of multiple technologies across Alabama, we will close the access gaps that exist in some of our rural communities.”

Birmingham, Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, NASCAR
Parts of Talladega county are getting faster internet, too. Photo via Talladega Super Speedway

4. These Counties, Too

In addition to Jefferson County, parts of these 39 counties in Alabama are now eligible for AT&T’s fixed wireless internet service, too:

  • Autauga
  • Baldwin, Barbour, Bibb, Blount, Butler
  • Calhoun, Chambers, Chilton, Colbert, Coosa, Cullman
  • Dallas
  • Elmore, Escambia, Fayette, Franklin
  • Greene
  • Hale
  • Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lee, Limestone, Lowndes
  • Macon, Marengo, Mobile, Montgomery, Morgan
  • Russell
  • Shelby, Sumter
  • Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa
  • Walker, Washington and Winston

Birmingham, the communications industry moves so quickly! Hoover is gearing is considering 5G, via AT&T  and the installation of new cell towers in city limits. Tuscaloosa has 5G, via AT&T (another internet initiative happening in select U.S. cities). 

In Georgia, AT&T is testing an initiative called Project AirGig. It’s their version of delivering broadband internet through power lines, and they started working with Georgia Power last year.

What’s next for us?