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AT&T Invests Nearly $825 Million Over 3-Year Period to Boost Local Networks in South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C., June 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- At AT&T¹, we've invested nearly $825 million in our South Carolina wireless and wired networks during 2016-2018. These investments boost reliability, coverage, speed and overall performance for residents and businesses. We've also 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®2 

During 2016-2018, AT&T made the following investments in its South Carolina wireless and wired networks:

  • Nearly $140 million in the Charleston region,
  • More than $175 million in the Columbia region,
  • Nearly $140 million in the Upstate region, and
  • Nearly $370 million across other areas of the state.3

In 2018, AT&T made over 1,100 wireless network upgrades in South Carolina. These include 3 new macro tower sites, 5 new in-building systems, 15 Fixed Wireless Internet locations and more than 1,000 projects to increase network capacity and speed.

"Robust communication networks are vital to the continued economic success and growth of South Carolina," said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. "Advanced broadband technology drives the innovation and entrepreneurship that preserve existing jobs and create new ones in today's global marketplace. This type of investment keeps our state and citizens connected today, while positioning us for success tomorrow." 

"The opportunity to make and sustain investment like this speaks to the importance of the work done by South Carolina local and state leaders to build a public policy climate that encourages private investment in advanced technology," said Jane Sosebee, president of AT&T South Carolina.

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 South Carolina, 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 Anderson, Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Georgetown and Greenville. 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.
  • South Carolina 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.4
  • 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 18,200 locations across South Carolina in mostly rural areas through technologies like Fixed Wireless Internet.

Our internet offerings
We now market a 1 gigabit connection5 on our 100% fiber network to more than 12 million locations across 85 major metro areas nationwide. In the South Carolina area, we market our internet service powered by AT&T Fiber SM to more than 200,000 customer locations.

We plan to reach about 14 million locations across at least 85 metro areas by mid-2019 for consumers.

We are the largest U.S.-based provider of fiber for business services. There are over 500,000 U.S. business buildings lit with AT&T Fiber SM, and we're adding thousands more each month.

Within those buildings, AT&T now enables high-speed fiber connections to over 2.2 million U.S. business customer locations. And if you count businesses near our fiber network, that number quadruples. Nationwide, more than 8 million business customer locations are on or within 1,000 feet of our fiber.6

To learn more about our wireless coverage in South Carolina, or anywhere in the U.S., visit the AT&T Coverage Viewer. For updates on the AT&T wireless network, please visit the AT&T network news page.

¹ AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
2 Based on analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data average download speeds for Q1 2019. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.
3 Totals may not agree due to rounding.
4 Based on AT&T analysis of Ookla® Speedtest Intelligence® nationwide data average download speeds for Q1 2019. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.
5 Actual customer speeds may vary. Download speeds are typically up to 940Mbps due to overhead capacity reserved to deliver the data.
6 The over 2.2 million U.S. business customer locations, which AT&T provides high-speed fiber connections, is included within the 8M U.S. business customer locations on or within 1,000 feet of our fiber.

Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Information set forth in this news release contains financial estimates and other forward- looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially. A discussion of factors that may affect future results is contained in AT&T's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AT&T disclaims any obligation to update or revise statements contained in this news release based on new information or otherwise.

*About AT&T Communications
We help family, friends and neighbors connect in meaningful ways every day. From the first phone call 140+ years ago to mobile video streaming, we innovate to improve lives. We have the nation's fastest wireless network.** And according to America's biggest test, we have the nation's best wireless network.*** We're building FirstNet just for first responders and creating next-generation mobile 5G. With DIRECTV, DIRECTV NOW and WatchTV, we deliver entertainment people love to talk about. Our smart, highly secure solutions serve nearly 3 million global businesses – nearly all of the Fortune 1000. And worldwide, our spirit of service drives employees to give back to their communities.

AT&T Communications is part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). Learn more at att.com/CommunicationsNews.

AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc. Additional information about AT&T products and services is available at about.att.com. Follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at facebook.com/att and on YouTube at youtube.com/att.

© 2019 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the Globe logo and other marks are trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

**Based on analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data average download speeds for Q1 2019.
***According to America's biggest test as announced by Global Wireless Solutions last fall.

FirstNet® and the FirstNet logo are registered trademarks of the First Responder Network Authority.

To define a market, we rely on the Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSA), as established by the United States Office of Management and Budget.  Minor differences, if any, between annual totals reflect annual updating of market boundaries in our record systems.

From FORTUNE Magazine. 2019 Time Inc. FORTUNE© and The World's Most Admired Companies® are registered trademarks of Time Inc. and are used under License. FORTUNE and Time Inc. are not affiliated with, and do not endorse products or services of, AT&T.

AT&T Inc. logo. (PRNewsFoto/AT&T Inc.)

 

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