AT&T Effort to Bring Higher-Speed Internet to Rural Arkansas

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AT&T is doing its part to answer the call for more rural internet in the COVID-19 era, combining with the Federal Communications Commission to extend high-speed service to more than 41,000 rural homes and businesses in Arkansas.

In coordination with the FCC’s Connect America Fund, the telecommunications giant announced it has set that goal in 45 of Arkansas’ 75 counties (see below). It intends to complete about 10,000 of those hook-ups by the end of the year, the company said in a news release.

From the start of this year through April, AT&T expanded access to internet services via 21 additional cellular towers. The new Fixed-Wireless Internet program delivers high internet download speeds through last-mile technology that transmits data from a wireless tower to a fixed antenna at homes and businesses in underserved rural areas.

The program “has been awesome in both service and price,” said Ron Staelens, a Fixed Wireless customer quoted in the release. “We used to be on satellite and could never stream anything or update software on home electronics without running out of data and having to pay for more at a huge additional cost. It is definitely a great option to have where we live.”

The service is available to locations in rural areas of the following counties: Ashley, Benton, Bradley, Carroll, Chicot, Clark, Cleburne, Columbia, Conway, Craighead, Crawford, Crittenden, Cross, Desha, Drew, Faulkner, Garland, Grant, Greene, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Howard, Independence, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lawrence, Lee, Lincoln, Little River, Lonoke, Madison, Mississippi, Monroe, Nevada, Ouachita, Phillips, Poinsett, Polk, Pulaski, Saline, Sharp, St. Francis, Union and White.

“We are committed to deploying innovative services like Fixed Wireless Internet to keep residents and businesses in rural Arkansas connected,” said Ronald Dedman, president of AT&T Arkansas. “We are on track to connect even more Arkansans through this service and other network enhancements statewide through the end of the year.”

More details are available at att.com/internet/fixed-wireless.