AT&T invented a way to use power lines to deliver super-fast wireless internet

AT&T project airgig wireless gigabit internetAT&TAT&T’s AirGig transmitter.

AT&T says it has developed a new technology it calls AirGig, which links up to standard power lines and uses a special transmitter to deliver super-fast gigabit internet wirelessly.

The project is only in its early test phases for now, and AT&T hasn’t announced where and when it will deploy it publicly. But based on the company’s blog post announcing AirGig, it sounds like AT&T will likely target rural areas at first.

Gigabit internet is several times faster than the standard broadband most people get in their home. The AirGig project attaches antennas to existing power lines and uses a millimetre wave frequency to broadcast gigabit internet to devices.

AT&T wouldn’t describe exactly how the technology works, but would only say it’s not tapping into the power of the power line.

AT&T says AirGig is several times cheaper than standard wireless internet because it’s cheaper for the company to deploy and deliver. It can also be used over open wireless spectrum.

AT&T isn’t the only company exploring wireless gigabit internet. Google, Facebook, and the startup Starry are all experimenting with ways to bathe the world in super-fast wireless internet access.

For now, the technology is clearly in its early days, but it has the potential to create more competition among companies for broadband access and provide broadband to underserved areas.

Here’s a video that shows how AT&T’s system works:

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