AT&T may have developed new wireless technology that works with existing power lines to deliver faster and cheaper broadband service. According to Business Insider, "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." As power lines criss cross our nation, that could mean that wireless technology could provide a major boost to rural neighborhoods. It could also lead to a cheaper competitor that could drive down costs.
How quickly such a service can get approved and rolled out remains to be seen. Google has certainly been working to deliver broadband to communities; using power lines would hasten the build out process. The article suggests that Facebook and others would also be interesting in building out a competitive wireless infrastructure.
The use of power lines to deliver broadband has been discussed before. But as public utilities, power companies have not seemed to actively try to grow their business. I look forward to see how AT&T and others expand our broadband coverage and our speed of service.