Rural dwellers have been largely left out of the broadband revolution that has swept the rest of the country but AT&T says that will change when its merger with DirecTV becomes final. It's promising broadband speeds of 15 megabits per second or better in rural areas.
AT&T has technology “ready to go” by late 2015 to deliver high-speed wireless Internet service that’s faster than LTE, because it is delivered via a dedicated swath of spectrum, said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T's mobility division, according to a report in Variety.
de la Vega said AT&T's technology will permit it to deliver both TV and broadband via a single dish at the customer's home. Presently, satellite TV and Internet require separate dishes and satellite Internet is regarded as agonizingly slow by most consumers.
AT&T's $67 billion takeover of DirecTV is being reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission and other regulators. Unlike the proposed Comcast-Time Warner merger it has not aroused too much opposition from traditional foes of big media mergers.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story quoted de la Vega as proposing 50 mbps broadband. An examination of the conference transcript shows he actually said 15 mbps.