LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Nov. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- At AT&T1, we've invested nearly $625 million in our Arkansas 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 second quarter 2019 results from tests taken with Speedtest® and analyzed by Ookla®. 2
In 2018, AT&T made more than 900 wireless network upgrades in Arkansas, including new cell sites and additional network capacity.
"Our investments in Arkansas enhance coverage for our customers and FirstNet subscribers," said Ronald Dedman, president of AT&T Arkansas. "We are dedicated to the communities we serve, and our ongoing investments help to keep Arkansans connected when and where they need it most."
"AT&T's continued investment in Arkansas' communications infrastructure drives business growth and economic opportunity across our state. Robust connectivity benefits every aspect of our economy," Arkansas Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said.
Following the passage of recent state legislation, AT&T will continue its investment in Arkansas with additional upgrades.
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.
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.
Building upon our current and planned investments in Arkansas, 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 multiple locations in Arkansas, including Little Rock, Fayetteville, Springdale, Jonesboro, Conway, Bentonville, Rogers, Van Buren, Hot Springs, Pine Bluff, Texarkana, Fort Smith, Stuttgart and West Helena. 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.
- Arkansas first responders enjoy the fastest overall experience on FirstNet, compared to any commercial network, 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 72 dedicated 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.
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 31,000 locations across Arkansas in mostly rural areas through technologies like Fixed Wireless Internet.
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, 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.5
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 Q2 2019. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.
3 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.
4 Actual customer speeds may vary. Download speeds are typically up to 940Mbps due to overhead capacity reserved to deliver the data.
5 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 a range of TV and video products, 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.
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**Based on analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data average download speeds for Q2 2019.
***GWS OneScore, September 2019.