AT&T has announced the launch of its fastest internet speed tier, AT&T Internet 1000. It will be made available to customers and small businesses in the Columbia area, including parts of Richland County outside the city.
ATT&T announced a similar roll out in Charleston in November of last year, followed by Greenville shortly after.
The faster internet service operates on a 100% fiber network powered by AT&T Fiber. The expansion of local fiber service provides high-speed connectivity is first being made available to 15 apartment complexes and multi-family properties in the area, with additional locations added as the network expands.
Ted Creech, director of external affairs for ATT&T South Carolina, said the company has just started the buildout and was not specific on which areas it was taking place. He said customers can go to their ATT&T representative and check to see if they are eligible for the service.
“AT&T is committed to extending access to ultra-fast internet in the greater Columbia area because our customers are increasingly interacting with their world in more data-intensive ways,” Creech said. “A growing number of people are streaming content directly from their devices, transferring larger files for work and interacting with family and friends through live videos.”
Columbia is currently one of 49 metros nationwide with the new internet availability. AT&T markets a gigabit internet connection to nearly 4 million customer locations, with plans to reach at least 12.5 million locations by mid-2019.
“We are excited to add Columbia to the growing list of areas in South Carolina where our 100% fiber network is bringing customers our fastest internet speeds,” said Marvy Moore, vice president and general manager of AT&T for Georgia and South Carolina.
“The 100% fiber network from AT&T will contribute to our growing economy and high quality of life in Columbia,” said Mayor Steve Benjamin. “Access to high-speed internet will help create new jobs, grow small businesses and improve access to educational opportunities.”
In May 2016 Spirit Communications, in conjunction with SOCO Inc., announced a plan to provide gigabit speed broadband internet access at SOCO locations in the Columbia area. The plan was to bring SOCO and other businesses internet up to 10 gigabits, or 100 times the speed of traditional networks.
AT&T has invested more than $800 million in its wireless and wireline networks in South Carolina between 2013 and 2015, with more than $200 million of that in Columbia. This drives upgrades to reliability, coverage, speed and performance for residents and business customers, company officials said.