AT&T is conducting two field trials of its broadband over power line technology, named Project AirGig.
A unique approach to broadband transmission, AirGig launches millimeter wave signals that propagate along the surface of power lines. AT&T says the technology has the potential to provide data rates over 1 Gbps, enabling broadband internet to be distributed over power lines and eliminating the need to build towers and bury cables in areas with existing power lines.
AT&T Labs has investigated AirGig technology for more than a decade and filed more than 300 patents.
Two field trials are underway: the first began this fall with an electricity provider outside the U.S., and the second trial is with Georgia Power. AT&T said the results may lead to expanding to other locations. The company has no timeline for commercial deployment.
Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T Labs and the company’s chief technology officer, said, “Project AirGig is part of our ongoing effort to accelerate internet connections to a gig or more through both wired and wireless solutions. But it also stands alone as a radically innovative solution to bridge the global digital divide. If these trials and our continued research and development turn out the way we intend, we’ll take a big step toward bringing hyper-fast connectivity to people everywhere.”