Philadelphia has a new ISP, in a sense

Tom Paine

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Philadelphia has a new ISP - well, kind of.

Its AT&T, which announced the new service was live on August 22.

Its an unusual step for AT&T, which is a non-incumbent carrier here, to provide residential broadband service to apartment and condo buildings outside its own footprint.

AT&T is rolling out technology in parts of eight metro areas outside its footprint: Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, and Tampa. Further expansion to 14 additional metros will follow. uses fiber to the nieghborhood and sometimes old copper wiring to and inside the building, but AT&T says its new service will use existing coaxial cables inside the buildings to deliver speeds of up to 500Mbps.

AT&T is using its own fiber, already in place for enterprise use or wireless backhual.

Its unclear how widespread the service's availability may be. Mostly, its dependent on arrangements between the telco and the building
owner. And its also not clear whether this will increase consumer choices in any areas.

But it makes you wonder what AT&T's strategic intentions are. Its broadband plans have been a frequent source of confusion to industry watchers.

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