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View From the Hill: Thanks AT&T!

By Grace Boatright, National Grange Legislative Director (View From The Hill Blog 11/7/12)

  NOVEMBER 7, 2012 --

Life in rural America has advantages, including fresh air, room to spread out, and tightly-knit communities.  Unfortunately, rural America still lags behind urban areas in some aspects, including access to high-speed broadband Internet.

Today, AT&T announced a plan to invest an additional $14 billion over three years in its broadband networks, including significant investment to help expand access to high-speed wired and wireless broadband services in rural areas.  In addition to extending wireless 4G LTE coverage to 300 million people by the end of 2014, AT&T plans to expand its wired IP broadband network to 57 million customer locations.  Thanks to this investment, 99 percent of customers in AT&T’s wireline service area will have high-speed Internet access via IP wireline or 4G LTE.

Rural America welcomes AT&T’s planned investment in state-of-the-art IP networks that will enable it to offer broadband speeds of 100 megabits per second, compared to average consumer broadband speeds today of just 14.6 megabits per second.

Most Americans recognize that a high-speed broadband connection is essential for any business in today’s high tech economy.  But the impact of broadband extends far beyond the boardroom. Lightning fast networks can provide access to cultural events, enhance education, and even reduce health disparities by enabling virtual access to the nation’s best doctors.

We commend AT&T for its commitment to bringing state-of-the-art Internet access to more Americans in more parts of the country.  Investments like this ensure a brighter future for rural America.

-Grace Boatright
National Grange Legislative Director

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