AT&T Invests Nearly $5.4B Over 3-Year Period to Boost Local Networks in Georgia

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Friday, June 21st, 2019

At AT&T, we’ve invested nearly $5.4 billion in our Georgia wireless and wired networks during 2016-2018. These investments boost reliability, coverage, speed and overall performance for residents and businesses. We’ve improved critical services that support Public Safety and first responders using the FirstNet communications platform. And, we’ve helped meet the needs of customers in largely rural areas through our participation in the FCC’s Connect America Fund.

AT&T’s wireless network covers more than 99% of all Americans and has become the fastest wireless network in the nation, according to the first quarter 2019 results from tests taken with Speedtest® and analyzed by Ookla.

“For Georgia to continue to be the number one state in the nation for business, sustained investment by the private sector is critical,” said Chris Clark, president and CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. “By continuing to invest at robust levels and to deploy state-of-the-art infrastructure across the Peach State, AT&T is helping our state thrive, attracting new jobs and driving innovation in our local communities.”

The AT&T LTE network now covers more than 400 million people in North America.

In 2018, AT&T made hundreds of wireless network upgrades in Georgia, including the construction and activation of 9 new macro cell sites, new small cell sites and over 80 Fixed Wireless sites. Notable Georgia network enhancements in 2018 included more than 2,100 LTE capacity adds to over 1,100 cell sites across Georgia.

And, notable new systems or modifications were made at the Mercedes Benz Stadium, State Farm Arena, Georgia World Congress Center, Mall of Georgia, Perimeter Mall, SunTrust Park, Georgia World Congress Center and MARTA stations throughout Atlanta.

“In April, Governor Kemp signed legislation that standardizes the deployment of wireless infrastructure and encourages investment. AT&T is now speeding our wireless build plans across Georgia, with billions of dollars dedicated to enhancing mobile broadband,” said AT&T Georgia president Venessa Harrison. “This robust and continued investment supports today’s innovative path to 5G as well as the emerging technologies of tomorrow.”

By building out our 4G LTE network, we’re boosting network speeds and capacity, as we continue to expand the availability of our network and upgrade our technology.

Additionally, for the 5th consecutive year we've landed on Fortune magazine's list of the "World's Most Admired" companies. It's also the 6th year in a row we've appeared on the Global Top 50 list – no other telecom company made the Top 50.

Transforming Public Safety Communications

FirstNet is Public Safety's dedicated, nationwide communications platform. It is for all first responders – career and volunteer, urban or rural. It’s bringing public safety communications into the 21st century with new, innovative capabilities, helping first responders connect to the critical information they need – every day and in every emergency.

Building upon our current and planned investments in Georgia, we continue to extend the reach and increase the capacity of the FirstNet communications platform:

-          Deployed Band 14 spectrum in more than 600 markets nationwide, including Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Chattooga, Columbus, Dawson, Haralson, Macon, Savannah and Whitfield. Band 14 is high-quality spectrum provided by the First Responder Network Authority. Its signal covers larger geographic areas with less infrastructure to better support rural communities, and it can better reach in-building in more urban areas as compared to higher-MHz spectrum.

-          Georgia first responders enjoy the fastest overall experience on FirstNet, compared to any commercial network in the nation, thanks to the specialized capabilities enabled by the physically separate and dedicated FirstNet network core, like always-on priority and preemption. 3

-          Public safety agencies subscribed to FirstNet have 24/7 access to a nationwide fleet of 75 deployable network assets. These assets can either be deployed for planned events or called upon in emergencies to help first responders stay connected and operate faster, safer and more effectively when lives are on the line.

FirstNet is built with AT&T in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority – an independent agency within the federal government. This helps ensure that the FirstNet communications platform and service offerings meet the short- and long-term needs of the public safety community.

Our commitment to rural America

Through our participation in the FCC’s Connect America Fund universal service program, AT&T has been helping to meet the connectivity needs of customers in largely rural areas and to expand the opportunities enabled by internet access. By the end of 2020, AT&T will have used funds from this FCC program to help deploy, maintain and offer internet access and voice services to more than 1.1 million mostly rural homes and small business locations in FCC-identified areas. By the end of 2018, we offered high-speed internet access to over 40,400 locations across Georgia in mostly rural areas through technologies like Fixed Wireless Internet.