Following a proposal request from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), AT&T has announced a pilot program to conduct connectivity and service trials of the latest mobile technology. Carbon Hill, Alabama has been selected as one of two national locations for the multi-year trial. That trial will be used to help complete the rollout of the company’s Internet Protocol (IP) -based network. With that network, the carrier aims to provide more seamless coverage for mobile devices as development shifts away from legacy voice networks.
The trial is another facet of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan to provide country-wide access to broadband capabilities. According to the article “Going All-IP in Alabama, Florida” by Hank Hultquist of AT&T, the trials will “establish real-world test-beds on a small scale to provide a forum for identifying the operational, technical, and logistical issues that could arise when the remaining [time-division multiplexing] TDM customers must transition to next-generation wireless and IP-based alternatives.” Carbon Hill was chosen as the rural test area while Palm Beach County, Florida, was chosen as the suburban location.