Telecom provider AT&T this week said some local customers now have access to faster internet with the addition of 2 gigabit and 5 gigabit fiber internet to the community. Reno is one of more than 70 metro regions in the country to get the upgrade.
The top speeds for AT&T fiber internet had previously been 1 gig.
AT&T officials said the rollout of the improved fiber network for residential customers was in response to pandemic shifts in how people work, with many more people setting up home offices or making their homes a permanent workplace.
Tech site CNET suggested the 2-gig and 5-gig speeds are likely more than most households need right now, but the move to faster speeds was forward-thinking.
The number of internet-connected devices in homes has jumped over the past several years, with an average of 25 connected devices per household, according to a report last year from Deloitte. The devices include computers and smart TVs, but also gaming consoles, fitness equipment, smartphones, security and automation devices and even connected refrigerators.
The faster speeds are good for business, too, said Dave Archer, president and CEO for NCET, Nevada Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology.
“Our dependence on reliable, fast and secure broadband services has become more evident over the last two years, especially considering the increased demands from the business and technology community,” said Archer. “This move to multi-gig from AT&T puts us another step closer to supporting our ever-changing workforce and the evolving needs of our community.”
AT&T said it’s participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a new federal program to increase access to broadband for lower income households. The program provides a monthly benefit of $30 per month for household internet service or $75 per month for service on qualifying Tribal lands. Details on who’s eligible for the discounts are online at https://www.fcc.gov/acp.
With the faster speeds, AT&T also rolled out flat-rate pricing, meaning that they’re not requiring a contract or bumping up the monthly rate at the end of the first 12 months.
Correction: AT&T’s new service is for 2 gigabit and 5 gigabit internet, not gigabytes.
Kristen Hackbarth is a freelance editor and communications professional with 20 years’ experience working in communications in northern Nevada. Kristen graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in photography and minor in journalism and has a Master of Science in Management and Leadership. In her free time, she is a volunteer backpacking guide along the Tahoe Rim Trail, an avid home cook and baker, cyclist, wife and stepmom.