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AT&T's Project Velocity IP Plan to Fill in the Blanks for Rural Broadband Coverage

February 07, 2013
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, Virtual Office Contributor

A few weeks ago at the Citi Global Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference held in Las Vegas, AT&T’s senior EVP of AT&T technology and network operations, John Donovan, discussed ways that the company plans to widen its broadband delivery by including LTE and increased Wi-Fi. LTE, sometimes known as 4G LTE, is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals.

“We anticipate that LTE will be our broadband coverage solution for a portion of the country, we just haven’t yet gotten to the point where we’ve got enough experience under our belt to know what the portion will be,” Donovan said. “There’s no question that as we extend ourselves from 75 percent of the footprint to 99 percent of the footprint in our region that we’re going to be using LTE for some of that broadband.”’s Stuart Zipper recently blogged that this is good news for rural businesses and customers with limited (or no) broadband options.

“What the means, of course, is that businesses in America’s rural areas who opt for VoIP services such as will be getting another broadband option for delivery of Internet phone service,” wrote Zipper. “Indeed for some it may be their first high speed broadband option, which means a fertile new market for both business and residential VoIP carriers.”

Donovan also touted his company’s network reliability, and noted that one reason AT&T's LTE network didn’t experience massive outages during its rollout (a result that has been seen by other LTE operators) is because AT&T fully distributed the network core in order to enable low latency, which also improved reliability, Fierce Broadband Wireless reported.

In addition, to boost reliability, Donovan said the company won't do any small cell or in-building systems that don't include Wi-Fi, which helps carriers fill in the blanks in coverage in indoor spaces. These changes are all part of AT&T’s Project Velocity IP (or VIP), the multibillion program the company announced last fall. Project Velocity IP will see the deployment of more than 10,000 new macrocells, 40,000 small cells and 1,000 distributed antenna systems (DAS) throughout its service footprint.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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