AT&T Invests $8.7 Billion Over Three-Year Period to Keep California Connected

Investments in our wireless and wireline networks in California expand coverage and improve connectivity in more communities.

AT&T is proud to have the nation’s best and also fastest wireless network,1 as well as the largest network in North America.2 From 2017-2019, we invested more than $8.7 billion in our wireless and wireline networks in California to expand coverage and improve connectivity in more communities.

That investment has increased reliability, coverage and overall performance for residents and businesses, which is essential for connecting our customers with family, friends and colleagues – no matter the distance. It’s also improved critical communications services for California’s first responders using the FirstNet network.

Today, our 4G LTE network covers more than 330 million people.3 That’s more than 2.61 million square miles and over 99% of all Americans.4

We also expanded access to high-speed internet in California by building more than 2.1 million additional fiber connections.

“We increased our investment in California by $500 million from the three-year period we reported last year.”

Rhonda Johnson, President - AT&T California

“We increased our investment in California by $500 million from the three-year period we reported last year,” said AT&T California President Rhonda Johnson. “Whether it’s expanding 5G or preparing for wildfires or PSPS events, we're committed to enhancing coverage for our customers and FirstNet subscribers. During these unprecedented times our ongoing investment in California helps keep Californians connected when and where they need it most.”

More details about our wireless coverage in California, and anywhere in the U.S., can be found on the AT&T Coverage Viewer. For updates on the AT&T wireless network, please visit the AT&T network news page.

Building the Future of Wireless Connectivity, Today

5G is the future of wireless technology and is poised to jumpstart the next wave of unforeseen mobile innovation. California customers are already experiencing the power of 5G in cities across the state, and we’re committed to bringing next-generation 5G coverage to more communities as we build toward nationwide coverage this year.

We deliver the 5G experience to both consumers and businesses by deploying two types of 5G technology:

  • 5G over sub-6 spectrum is expected to enable faster responses over broader distances on new devices and is now available in 190 markets.
  • 5G+ delivers ultra-fast speeds and response times, capable of 1+ Gbps, using 5G technology and new millimeter wave spectrum, unlocking unprecedented experiences in iconic destinations and key venues. It’s ideal for businesses, universities, hospitals and sports venues and is currently deployed in parts of 35 cities.

To learn more about AT&T 5G, visit our AT&T 5G site.

FirstNet: Transforming Public Safety Communications

We’re honored to work with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) to build and manage FirstNet – the only nationwide, high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to and purpose-built for America’s first responders and the extended public safety community. And we take our responsibility to deliver FirstNet seriously.

Building upon our current and planned investments in California, we continue to extend the reach, and increase the coverage, capacity and capabilities of the FirstNet network:

  • Purpose-built network enhancements – Across California, we’ve boosted the network with high-quality Band 14 spectrum. Band 14 is nationwide, high-quality spectrum set aside by the government specifically for FirstNet. We look at Band 14 as public safety’s VIP lane: in an emergency, this band – or lane – can be cleared and locked just for FirstNet subscribers. In addition, since the beginning of the FirstNet network expansion, we’ve launched new FirstNet cell sites in San Bernardino, San Diego and Tehama counties.
  • Reaching rural California – FirstNet is built for every first responder in the country – career or volunteer; federal, tribal, state or local; urban, suburban or rural. That’s why we’re collaborating with rural network providers to help connect remote parts of America and build out additional FirstNet LTE coverage in California.
  • Public safety-specific advanced capabilities – FirstNet is providing California public safety with dedicated access when they need it, as well as an entire communication ecosystem with unique benefits like mission-centric devices, certified applications, always-on priority and preemption and high-quality Band 14 spectrum. These advanced capabilities enable FirstNet to perform faster than any commercial network5 and bring its subscribers the unthrottled connectivity they need.
  • Unparalleled emergency support – California agencies on FirstNet also have 24/7 access to a nationwide fleet of 76 deployable network assets. These assets can either be deployed for planned events or called upon in emergencies at no additional charge to help first responders stay connected and operate faster, safer and more effectively when lives are on the line. FirstNet Response Operations – led by a group of former first responders – guides the deployment of the FirstNet deployable assets based on the needs of public safety.
  • Free Smartphones for Life for Public Safety Agencies – We have a responsibility to public safety unlike any other wireless carrier. That’s why California agencies spanning law enforcement, fire, EMS, healthcare, hospital emergency departments, emergency management and 911 operations on FirstNet can stay up-to-date with smartphones for life at no additional cost.6 This means first responders across agencies of all sizes will have affordable access to their network.

The FirstNet network expansion across California is being done with direct feedback from state and public safety officials. This helps ensure FirstNet meets the short- and long-term needs of the public safety community.

Go here for more FirstNet news. Or check out FirstNet.com to learn more about the program.

Our commitment to California

In addition to the programs mentioned above, AT&T’s commitment to California includes programs like:

  • The Connect America Fund – Through our participation in the FCC’s Connect America Fund universal service program, we have been helping to meet the connectivity needs of customers in largely rural areas and to expand the opportunities enabled by internet access. By the end of 2019, we offered high-speed internet access to over 113,000 locations across California in mostly rural areas through technologies like Fixed Wireless Internet.

This is all made possible by our talented, dedicated AT&T team members who are committed to being there and are the driving force behind our efforts to expand wireless connectivity both in California and across the country. That’s why we believe in investing in our employees and workforce. In 2019, Fortune and Great Place to Work named us one of the Best Big Companies to Work For.

1 Best Network based on 2019 GWS OneScore. Fastest based on analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data median download speeds for Q1 2020. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.

2 Based on comparison of carrier owned & operated networks. No AT&T on-net coverage in select countries, including Canada.

3 Coverage includes non-AT&T network areas covered by roaming agreements with third parties.

4 Based on overall coverage in U.S. licensed areas. Coverage not available everywhere. AT&T’s 4G LTE coverage is not equivalent to its overall network coverage.

5 Based on AT&T analysis of Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data median download speeds for Q1 2020. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.

6 Available only to FirstNet first responder public safety entities for Primary Agency Paid User lines of service.  Requires a new FirstNet Mobile - Unlimited for Smartphone line or eligible upgrade on a two-year service agreement or AT&T installment 30-month agreement. For two-year agreement, upgrade your smartphone with a new eligible smartphone every two years at no additional cost for as long as your service plan is in effect and in good standing. Pay $.99 for eligible smartphone at purchase, credited back within three billing cycles.  Upgrade requires new two-year agreement. For AT&T Installment 30-month agreement, upgrade your smartphone with a new eligible smartphone every time you satisfy your current AT&T Installment agreement and sign a new one for no additional cost for as long as your service plan is in effect and in good standing. For both plans, tax on full discount price (two-year agreement) or full retail price (AT&T Installment agreement) due at sale. Activation and other fees, taxes, charges and restrictions apply. See firstnet.com/agencyoffers for offer details.

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