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TMCNet:  AT&T plans national tech trial [Sun Sentinel :: ]

[February 28, 2014]

AT&T plans national tech trial [Sun Sentinel :: ]

(South Florida Sun Sentinel (FL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 01--AT&T has proposed a region of Palm Beach County for a years-long trial that would switch customers to new Internet-based technologies for services ranging from phone service to broadband and television.


The goal is to transition customers to new networks that support the delivery of voice, text, video and other forms of communication. Customers would switch from network infrastructure put in place decades ago before the use of Internet or smart devices.

Customers won't necessarily notice big changes when they switch, but they will enable themselves to use newer technologies, AT&T Florida President Joe York said Friday.

The telecommunications company has proposed unincorporated Palm Beach County communities west of Delray Beach to the Federal Communications Commission for a national technology trial that essentially moves customers from "hardware to software" based technologies, AT&T officials said Friday.

That region covers about 40,000 homes, though not all may be AT&T subscribers, the company said. It's one of two areas AT&T selected for the trials. The other is Carbon Hill, Ala.

The proposal is a response to an FCC request for companies to conduct trials of the modern connections and services. AT&T executives expect the FCC to act on the request by June.

The suburban area west of Delray Beach was chosen partly for its concentration of condominiums, strip malls and other businesses still plugged in to the old infrastructure, York said. State and local government agencies also have made it easy for AT&T to invest here, he said.

AT&T customers will be able to voluntarily switch over during the trial. The company then will collect data and comments about their experience. There will be no dramatic bill increase, York said.

About 450,000 Americans are already switching monthly to services that run on Internet-based networks, York estimated.

AT&T plans town hall meetings to help customers better understand the process and what it means for them. For information aboaut the meetings, go to mvalverde@tribune.com">http://ip4westdelraybeach.att.com.

mvalverde@tribune.com, 954-356-4526, Twitter @MiriamValverde ___ (c)2014 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at www.sun-sentinel.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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