Federal infrastructure funding is creating expansion opportunities for corporations like AT&T, which wants to expand broadband service in smaller communities in the country.
- AT&T is seeking to claim nearly $100 billion in federal funding to help expand broadband access to rural areas of the U.S.
- Following its failed venture with Warner Brothers-Discovery, AT&T is looking to venture into greener pastures—broadband expansion.
- “At the moment, almost all the U.S. broadband industry growth is in wireless home service, where signals are beamed into a building with a router, creating an indoor internet connection,” says Bloomberg.
- The company is seeking public-private partnerships—taking advantage of federal relief money to increase internet infrastructure buildup in parts of the country where the internet is still largely unavailable.
- “AT&T has a shot at collecting some of the $95 billion in new federal broadband funding aimed at bringing high-speed internet to parts of the U.S. that have been struggling in the slow lane,” says Bloomberg.
Why it’s important
Many major telecommunications corporations are seeking similar partnerships as fiber connections and 5G expansions are seen as lucrative opportunities. The expense of building into rural areas of the country though has limited internet access up until recently.
The White House is pushing infrastructure buildup as part of its relief efforts and this is creating opportunities for major corporations to jump in and create partnerships.
“Fiber connections are among the most desired because they offer high capacity and blazing speeds at one gigabit per second and faster, but the wiring is expensive. To serve a city or suburb, a branch of fiber has to run off a primary trunk, either on poles or in trenches, to a network hub,” says Bloomberg.
“That middle mile usually costs about $1,000 per home. Connecting a home from that hub is usually an additional $1,000. For rural fiber expansion, the costs get a lot higher.”
As we previously reported, internet access is a major area of expansion with many major companies and startups considering satellite internet access as a viable means of expansion.
“AT&T’s top-three criteria for extending fiber to a market are to address the underserved, make a profit, and be the first provider of fiber to the home in the area. AT&T says it has no interest in duplicating other companies’ fiber networks or running a community network owned by a municipality,” says Bloomberg.