Workers are back at it on the new tower within HHP. While they are still awaiting the antennas for the tower to go live they have begun installing the “greenery” that is designed to make the tower look like a … Continue reading →
On December 16, Connect SC officially recognized Hilton Head Island as the fourth “Connected Community” in South Carolina and only the Thirty-fifth in the USA. During the ceremony the Action Plan going forward was presented for leading Hilton Head Island towards being a “World Class” connected community.
Investment Expands Access to Nation’s Most Reliable 4G LTE Network, AT&T U-verse Services; Brings Powerful Fiber-Optic Connections to More South Carolina Businesses
COLUMBIA, S.C., March 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — AT&T* has invested more than $825 million in its best-in-class wireless and wired networks in South Carolina between 2011 through 2013, driving a wide range of upgrades to enhance speed, reliability, coverage and performance for residents and business customers.
“Strong private investment in advanced communications technology sends a clear signal that South Carolina is not only a great place to live, but also an excellent place for business in a global economy,” said Governor Nikki Haley. “AT&T is clearly committed to providing South Carolina with the state-of-the-art services and features that drive economic activity and create jobs, and we are lucky to have them as part of our diverse and growing business community.”
Advancing its Project Velocity IP (VIP), a three-year investment plan to expand and enhance its wireless and wired IP broadband networks, AT&T in 2013 made 72 network upgrades in South Carolina, including new cell sites, addition of wireless and wired network capacity, and new broadband network connections. Additionally, AT&T expanded the reach of its network, providing access to U-verse((R)) Internet and video services to nearly 55,000 new customer locations,and delivering powerful fiber-optic connections to 955 business locations at 64 multi-tenant business buildings and business parks.
“South Carolina residents depend on our fast and reliable Internet connections more and more every day, whether it’s instant access to files and apps at work, watching a video at home, or even receiving updates from connected cars or home monitors,” said Pamela Lackey, president of AT&T South Carolina. “AT&T is making robust investments locally to make sure that residents can take full advantage of the latest services and tools, and that businesses have the speed they need to compete and grow.”
Notable South Carolina network enhancements in 2013 included:
— Launched 4G LTE in 6 new markets: Anderson, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Hilton Head-Bluffton and Orangeburg. — Nearly doubled residential and small business Internet speeds in Charleston, Columbia and Greenville, providing speeds up to 45 Mbps downstream and up to 6 Mbps upstream.AT&T provides the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network today, covering more than 280 million Americans with 4G LTE service.**
4G LTE service from AT&T is currently available in the following markets: Anderson, Charleston, Columbia, Dillon, Florence, Gaffney, Georgetown, Greenville-Spartanburg, Hilton Head-Blufton and Orangeburg.
AT&T U-verse is delivered over AT&T’s advanced IP network and includes AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet, AT&T U-verse TV, and AT&T U-verse Voice.*** AT&T U-verse TV customers enjoy Total Home DVR((R)), apps for entertainment on the go, and integrated features. AT&T was named Frost & Sullivan Video Company of the Year for 2013.
AT&T operates the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network**** including more than 32,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots at popular restaurants, hotels, bookstores and retailers, and provides access to more than 529,000 hotspots globally through roaming agreements. Most AT&T smartphone customers get access to our entire national Wi-Fi network at no additional cost, and Wi-Fi usage doesn’t count against customers’ monthly wireless data plans.
For more information about AT&T’s coverage in South Carolina or anywhere in the United States, consumers can visit the AT&T Coverage Viewer. For updates on the AT&T wireless network, please visit the AT&T network news page.
* 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.
** Reliability claim based on data transfer completion rates on nationwide 4G LTE networks. LTE is a trademark of ETSI. 4G LTE not available everywhere.
*** Geographic and service restrictions apply to AT&T U-verse services. Call or go to www.att.com/u-verse to see if you qualify.
**** Largest based on company branded and operated hotspots.
To define a market, we rely on the Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSA), as established by the United States Office of Management and Budget. Minor differences, if any, between annual totals reflect annual updating of market boundaries in our record systems.
AT&T Inc. [T] is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV service with the AT&T U-verse((R)) brand. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.
(C) 2014 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.
Reliability claim based on data transfer completion rates on nationwide 4G LTE networks. 4G LTE availability varies.
AT&T recently announced it has upgraded two mobile Internet cell sites on Hilton Head Island and in Beaufort to expand its 4G LTE coverage.
AT&T launched its 4G LTE network in the Hilton Head area in March 2013. The new cell sites are meant to help “drive investment and innovation to deliver” better mobile and Internet service, according to an AT&T news release.
The company says its technology promises data speeds 10 times faster than 3G networks.
“AT&T’s investment in Hilton Head and Beaufort will provide increased access to mobile technologies, which will help improve our business climate, both for residents and visitors to the area,” state Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, said in the release.
Here is the four year history of the data usage on the AT&T network in the hours leading up to the Super Bowl for each of the last four years. It also shows the number of posts to social media. This is the type of growth that has been predicted in all uses of the wireless networks.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — For thousands of years, Native Americans used the river banks here to cross a gap in the Appalachian Mountains, and trains sped through during the Civil War to connect the eastern and western parts of the Confederacy. In the 21st century, it is the Internet that passes through Chattanooga, and at lightning speed.
“Gig City,” as Chattanooga is sometimes called, has what city officials and analysts say was the first and fastest — and now one of the least expensive — high-speed Internet services in the United States. For less than $70 a month, consumers enjoy an ultrahigh-speed fiber-optic connection that transfers data at one gigabit per second. That is 50 times the average speed for homes in the rest of the country, and just as rapid as service in Hong Kong, which has the fastest Internet in the world.
It takes 33 seconds to download a two-hour, high-definition movie in Chattanooga, compared with 25 minutes for those with an average high-speed broadband connection in the rest of the country. Movie downloading, however, may be the network’s least important benefit.
“It created a catalytic moment here,” said Sheldon Grizzle, the founder of the Company Lab, which helps start-ups refine their ideas and bring their products to market. “The Gig,” as the taxpayer-owned, fiber-optic network is known, “allowed us to attract capital and talent into this community that never would have been here otherwise.”
Since the fiber-optic network switched on four years ago, the signs of growth in Chattanooga are unmistakable. Former factory buildings on Main Street and Warehouse Row on Market Street have been converted to loft apartments, open-space offices, restaurants and shops. The city has welcomed a new population of computer programmers, entrepreneurs and investors. Lengthy sideburns and scruffy hipster beards — not the norm in eastern Tennessee — are de rigueur for the under-30 set.
“This is a small city that I had never heard of,” said Toni Gemayel, a Florida native who moved his software start-up, Banyan, from Tampa to Chattanooga because of the Internet speed. “It beat Seattle, New York, San Francisco in building the Gig. People here are thinking big.”
But so far, it is unclear statistically how much the superfast network has contributed to economic activity in Chattanooga over all. Although city officials said the Gig created about 1,000 jobs in the last three years, the Department of Labor reported that Chattanooga still had a net loss of 3,000 jobs in that period, mostly in government, construction and finance.
EPB, the city-owned utility formerly named Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, said that only about 3,640 residences, or 7.5 percent of its Internet-service subscribers, are signed up for the Gigabit service offered over the fiber-optic network. Roughly 55 businesses also subscribe. The rest of EPB’s customers subscribe to a (relatively) slower service offered on the network of 100 megabits per second, which is still faster than many other places in the country.
Some specialists say the low subscriber and employment numbers are not surprising or significant, at least in the short term. “The search for statistical validation of these projects is not going to turn up anything meaningful,” said Blair Levin, executive director of Gig.U, a high-speed Internet project that includes more than three dozen American research universities. Mr. Levin cited “Solow’s paradox,” the 1987 observation by Robert M. Solow, a recipient of the Nobel in economic science who wrote that “you can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”
Such is the case with many new technologies, Mr. Levin said. No one is going to design products that can run only on a one-gigabit-per-second network if no such networks exist, he said. But put a few in place, he added, and soon the supply of applications will drive a growing demand for the faster connections.
Chattanooga’s path to Gig City is part of a transformation that began long before most Americans knew the Internet existed. Named America’s most-polluted city in 1969 because of largely unregulated base of heavy manufacturing, Chattanooga has in the last two decades cleaned its air, rebuilt its waterfront, added an aquarium and become a hub for the arts in eastern Tennessee. In more recent years, an aggressive high-tech economic development plan and an upgrade of the power grid by EPB moved Chattanooga toward the one-gigabit connection.
In 2009, a $111 million federal stimulus grant offered the opportunity to expedite construction of a long-planned fiber-optic network, said David Wade, chief operating officer for the power company. (EPB also had to borrow $219 million of the network’s $330 million cost.) Mr. Wade said it quickly became apparent that customers would be willing to pay for the one-gigabit connection offered over the network.
Chattanooga has been joined in recent years by a handful of other American cities that have experimented with municipally owned fiber-optic networks that offer the fastest Internet connections. Lafayette, La., and Bristol, Va., have also built gigabit networks. Google is building privately owned fiber systems in Kansas City, Kan.; Kansas City, Mo.; and Austin, Tex., and it recently bought a dormant fiber network in Provo, Utah.
The systems are the leading edge of a push for ever-faster Internet and telecommunications infrastructure in a country that badly lags much of the world in the speed and costs of Web connections. Telecommunications specialists say that if the United States does not keep its networks advancing with those in the rest of the world, innovation, business, education and a host of other pursuits could suffer.
Even so, few people, including many who support the systems, argue that everyone in the country now needs a one-gigabit home connection. Much of the public seems to agree. According to Federal Communications Commission statistics, of the households where service of at least 100 megabits per second was available (one-tenth as fast as a gigabit), only 0.12 percent subscribed at the end of 2012. In Chattanooga, one-third of the households and businesses that get electric power from EPB also subscribe to Internet service of at least 100 megabits.
But just as few people a decade ago thought there would be any need for one terabyte of data storage on a desktop computer (more than 200 million pages of text, or more than 200 movies), even the most prescient technology gurus have often underestimated the hunger for computer speed and memory.
Fiber-optic networks carry another benefit, which is the unlikelihood that a potentially faster network will come along soon. Fiber optics can transmit data at close to the speed of light, and EPB officials say the technology exists for their network to carry up to 80 connections of 10 gigabits per second at once.
Those who use Chattanooga’s one-gigabit connection are enthusiastic. Mr. Gemayel, the Florida native who moved Banyan here from Tampa, first passed through Chattanooga in 2012, when he heard about an entrepreneurial contest sponsored by The Company Lab with a $100,000 prize. Banyan, which was working on a way to share real-time editing in huge data files quickly among far-flung researchers, won the contest. Mr. Gemayel returned to Tampa with his check.
But once there he discovered that his low-bandwidth Internet connection was hampering the development of his business. By the beginning of 2013, he had moved to Chattanooga.
Other companies have become Gig-related successes. Quickcue, a company that developed a tablet-based guest-management system for restaurants, began here in 2011 and over the next two years attracted about $3 million in investments. In December, OpenTable, the online restaurant reservations pioneer, bought Quickcue for $11.5 million.
Big technology dreams do not always pan out, of course, and Chattanooga is familiar with failed experiments. The city spent millions of dollars in the last five years to build a citywide Wi-Fi network, known as the “wireless mesh,” intended for use by residents and city agencies. It sits largely unused, and its utility has largely been usurped by 4G wireless service.
Few people here would say that the Gig has even begun to be used to its fullest. “The potential will only be capped by our selfishness,” said Miller Welborn, a partner at the Lamp Post Group, the business incubator where Banyan shares office space with a dozen other start-ups. “The Gig is not fully useful to Chattanooga unless a hundred other cities are doing the same thing. To date, the best thing it’s done for us is it put us on the map.”
For all the optimism, many boosters are aware there are limits to how far the Gig can take the city, particularly as it waits for the rest of the country to catch up.
“We don’t need to be the next Silicon Valley,” Mayor Andy Berke said. “That’s not who we’re going to be, and we shouldn’t try to be that. But we are making our own place in the innovation economy.”
Correction: February 3, 2014
An earlier version of this article misspelled the surname of the co-founder of Banyan, a software start-up. It is Toni Gemayel, not Gemeyal.
On Friday, January 31, the ConnectHHI Team hosted a welcome/kickoff event at the HHI Library. City and County leaders were introduced to the ConnectSC effort that will be pursued to create a baseline assessment of Broadband Connectivity for HHI & Beaufort County. This assessment will provide a framework for creating Action Plans and Programs for connectivity in all areas of our Community.
Jim Collett welcomes attendees to the ConnectHHI kickoff
The Task Force for Improved Cell Service is broadening its focus to “Connectivity” versus improving cell coverage. The Team will now be called the “ConnectHHI Team”. Its main focus will be to lead Hilton Head Island, and Beaufort County, through a connectivity assessment using ConnectSC methodology. Kickoff of the County-wide effort will be on January 31, 2014 at the HHI Public Library at 2:00PM. At that meeting County leaders from business, government and education will be given an overview in the process, the goals of a ConnectSC efforts and a discussion of the roles of everyone involved.